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:
- "million dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "robert mugabe" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
- 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)
Fraud email example:
From: Jonas Soya <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 13 Jun 2015 06:32:35 +0000
From: Jonas Soya
Tel: +27 846 438 137
Urgent and confidential
Attn: Sir / Madam,
LETTER OF INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP
I write to you this proposal, which I believe would be of great interest to
you, I also plead with you to patiently read through my proposal before
making a decision whether to partake in this business opportunity or not. I
am looking for a reliable and capable foreign partner that will assist my
family and I to receive fund to a personal or company account and for
investment purposes, I am Jonas Soya, the son of Late Mr. David Soya, who
was a Commercial Farmer and very wealthy cocoa merchant in Bindura and
Harare, the economic city of Zimbabwe.
My father was among the people that were murdered in cold blood by the
President Robert Mugabe Administration during the land dispute that just
happened in Zimbabwe wholly affected the rich white farmers and some few
blackâs farmers and this resulted to the killing and mob action by
Zimbabwean war veterans and some lunatics in the society. In fact, a lot of
people were killed because of this land reformed Act.
Before his death he deposited the sum of US$13.9 Million Dollars (Thirteen
Million, Nine Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) in one of the Safety
Services Company here in South African. After the death of my father, we
decided to move out of Zimbabwe because our lives were in danger. In the
cause of moving the fund to your account for investment my family has
agreed to offer you 30% of the fund for your assistant, while 70% will be
for my investment in your Country / Company.
REQUIREMENT: What I expect from you in your reply are the following,
(i) Your direct telephone number for easy communication.
(ii) Your personal company / Work profile
(iii) Suggest what investment you would like us to invest on
Please, I kindly ask that you have a positive mindset about this business
opportunity and I promise that you will not regret your involvement, also
be rest assured that this transaction is 100% risk free and absolute
confidentiality is required for the safety of my family and the fund, and
do call me for notice immediately you receive this letter on; +27 846 438
137 and send your response to my email address above.
I anticipate your quick response
Thanks and God bless you
(For the family)