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:
- 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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "MALUSI GIGABA" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 20 May 2017 05:22:48 +0900
Subject: Dear Beneficiary
I write in respect of the fund brought to the department of National Treasury from Reserve bank in your name.
From the detailed information contained in the file that accompanied the fund, the fund was supposed to be transferred to you from Reserve bank before now, but was not due to some reasons that were not specified in the file.
The fund is 9.5m USD which is equivalent to R126,000,000.00 at current exchange rate. Are you aware of the fund?
This notification stands as the final notice for your fund to be released to you and if I do not hear from you, we shall have no option than to declare the fund government's fund.
You are required to confirm the following details, so that we can commence your fund release process;
1, Your full name and address.
2, Your age and occupation.
3, Your cell phone number.
Honorable Minister of Finance,
Republic of South Africa.
Fax: 086 265 0311