fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "confidentiality of this transaction" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- south africa. tel: +27-720-110-046 e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org dear sir/madam, first, let me start by introducing my self (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "FROM MRS.SUSAN" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 2015 23:34:35 +0600
Subject: MINISTER OF WOMANS, AFFAIRS
FROM MRS.SUSAN SHABANGU
MINISTER OF WOMANS, AFFAIRS
First, let me start by introducing my self as MRS SUSAN SHABANGU , a
mother of three children and the Former Deputy Minister of Safety and
Security since 29th April 2004 to 11th May 2009 under the auspices of the
President of South Africa MR THABO MBEKI. Now Minister of Mining under the
leadership of MR JACOB ZUMA President of South Africa. Minister of Mining
but on 25th May 2014 you were appointed Minister of Womans Affairs.
After due deliberation with my children, I decided to contact you for
your assistance in standing as a beneficiary to the sum of US $14. 5M
(Fourteen Million, Five Thousand US Dollars Only Hundred).
THE PROPOSAL, after the swearing in ceremony making me the Deputy Minister
of Safety and Security, my husband Mr. Ndelebe Shabangu died while he was
on an official trip to Trinidad and Tobago in 1996. After his death, I
discovered that he had some funds in a doll are account which amounted to
the sum of US $14.5M with a security and finance institution in South
Africa of which I will divulge information to you when I get your full
consent and support to go for a change of beneficiary and subsequent
transfer of the funds into you a comfortable and conducive account of your
This fund emanated as a result of an over-invoiced contract which he
executed with the Government of South Africa. Though I assisted him in
getting this contract but I never knew that it was over-invoiced by him. I
am afraid that the government of South Africa might star t to investigate
on contracts awarded from 1990 to date. If they discover this money in his
bank account, they will confiscate it and seize his assets here in South
Africa and this will definitely affect my political career in government.
I want your assistance in opening an account with bankers through my
banker so that this fund could be wired into your account directly without
any hitch. As soon as the fund gets to your account, you are expected to
move it immediately into another personal bank account in your country. I
will see to it that the account is not traced from South Africa. As soon
as you have confirmed the fund into your account, I will send my eldest
son with my Attorney to come to your country to discuss on business
investments. For your assistance, I am offering you 20% .However, you have
to assure me and also be ready to go into agreement with me that you will
not elope with my fund. If you agree to my terms, kindly as a matter of
urgency send me an email. Due to my sensitive position in the South
African Government, PLEASE DO NOT CALL ON THE OFFICE LINE, BECAUSE OF THE
SENSITIVITY OF THIS RANSACTION EXCEPT OF THE ABOVE DIRECT LINE. I prefer
you send me email or call my Son Terry Shebang.
All correspondence must be by my Private mail address
(firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to speak with my family
lawyer, that is fine and okay by me. You will have to send down you
private telephone /fax number so that I can forward it to him to reach you
from time to time this is for security reasons. Please I do not need to
remind you of the need for absolute Confidentiality of this transaction
must succeed. If you do not feel comfortable with this transaction, do not
hesitate to discontinue.
Thanks for your anticipated co-operation and my regards to your family.
MRS. SUSAN SHABANGU
CONTACT MY SON MR TERRY SHABANGUN