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.
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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:
- "huge deposit" (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)
- "robert mugabe" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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:
Date: Sat, 25 Jun 2016 09:03:30 +0200
Subject: Attention Needed
I wish to introduce myself as Mr.Philip Mthobeni elder son of Joseph Mthobeni of Zimbabwe. Please be patient to read this message. During the land reclaim violence against the farmers in Zimbabwe some few years back by our President, ROBERT MUGABE, he ordered all the white and black farmers to surrender their farms to his party members and his followers. My father was one of the best farmers in our country, and because he did not support his idea, President ROBERT MUGABE's supporters invaded my father's farm, burnt everything in it, killed my father and confiscated all his properties.
After the burial of my father, I decided to move out of Zimbabwe because my life was in danger. With the little money I raised, I decided to leave for South Africa because I had knowledge of a huge deposit which my father made in my name into a private security and finance company, since he does not have any account with any bank
due to illiteracy, but was successful in farming. I have been living in South Africa as a refugee, while looking for someone who can help me to claim the funds from a security company. With the current xenophobic attacks on foreigners all over South Africa, I have decided to move elsewhere with the assistance of a foreign partner like you to help me invest this money in your country.
However, I am unable to get these funds out of South Africa because of my status as a political refugee. Having spoken to a lawyer in my church, I need a foreign partner like you to help me in this process. If you are interested in helping me out,contact me only through my e-mail address;firstname.lastname@example.org
I will furnish you with more details if you reply positively. I am willing to give you 30% of this money for assisting me, 10% for any expenses that may be incurred in the course of the transaction and the remaining 60% will be for me and my family, which you will help us invest in your country. Be informed that this transaction needs utmost trust and confidentiality and will only take about 2-3 working days to be concluded if you can come over to South Africa. Note also that this transaction attracts no risk on your side since all the steps of a safe and successful transaction has been arranged by me and the lawyer who will assist us in this business. I look forward to establishing a good relationship with you.
Please Note:There is no upfront payment,all that is needed from you is to come down to South Africa for 2-3 days to conclude the transaction.
(For the entire family)
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