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:
- "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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known 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)
Fraud email example:
From: Mmakota Mbete <Baleka.Mbete@presidency.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2017 16:27:22 +0200
From Mrs. Baleka Mmakota Mbete
First, let me start by introducing myself as Mrs. Baleka Mmakota Mbete,
mother of two children, the Speaker of the National Assembly under the
auspices of the President of South Africa Mr. Jacob Zuma.
After due deliberation with my children, I decided to contact you for
assistance in standing as a beneficiary to the sum of USD$30.5M (Thirty
Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) You can view
profile at my website
http://www.parliament.gov.za/live/content.php?Item_ID=453 and read about
Immediately I assumed post as Speaker of the National Assembly, my
Ms. R. Mbete died while she was on a business trip in Reykjavik-Iceland.
After her death, I discovered that she had some funds in a dollar
which amounted to the sum of US$30.5M with a security and finance
institution in South Africa of which I will divulge information to you
I get your full consent and support to go for a change of beneficiary
subsequent transfer of the funds into your comfortable and conducive
account of your choice.
This fund emanated as a result of an over invoiced contract which she
executed with the Government Mining Sector of South Africa. Though I
assisted her in getting this contract but I never knew that it was
over-invoiced by her. I am afraid that the government of South Africa
start to investigate on contracts awarded from 2010 till date. If they
discover this money in her bank account, they will confiscate it and
her assets here in South Africa and this will definitely affect my
political career in the government.
I want your assistance in opening an account with banks through my
so that this fund could be wired into your account directly without any
I am offering you 20% of the principal sum which amounts to
(Six million One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) and 5%
be for any expenses that both of us may Incur in this transaction and
another 5% will go to Motherless babies homes of your choice for
However, you have to assure of your competency me and also be ready to
into agreement with me that you will not elope with my fund. If you
to my terms, kindly as a matter of urgency send me an email to:
Mrs. Baleka Mmakota Mbete
National Assembly Speaker Republic of South Africa.
Phone my son Nkosinathi Mbete on either number: Cell: +27729690483,