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:
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "robert mugabe" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: " Cecilia Weyers" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 05 Jul 2017 00:52:22 +0900
Subject: Refugee Mother Plea for Foreign Investment Partnership
Hello dear I am looking for a foreign business partner that will ass=
ist my family to receive substantial amount of money in an offshore account=
for investment purposes, my name is Mrs. Cecilia Weyers, the wife of late =
Mr. Samuel Weyers, who was a commercial farmer and tobacco merchant in Zimb=
abwe. My husband is one of the people that was murdered in cold blood by Pr=
esident Robert Mugabe, under his direct leadership & responsibility (as Pre=
sident of Zimbabwe) several thousand, and probably over hundreds of thousan=
d people were killed in a major act of genocide during the land dispute tha=
t exclusively affected the white farmers and few black farmers, the land re=
form in Zimbabwe resulted to the killing and mob action by war veterans and=
some lunatics in the society. Before the death of my husband he lodged=
the sum of $32,000.000.00(thirty two million U.S. dollars) in a security f=
irm in South African. The fund was meant for purchasing of farm machinery e=
quipment, irrigation equipment and automatic sprinkler systems, pumps & tra=
ctors before the land dispute. Currently, I am living in South Africa w=
ith my three children as refugees and we are not allowed certain rights, in=
cluding opening bank account or investment, I will like to form a mutually-=
beneficial relationship with you and nominate you as my late husband's fore=
ign trustee so that the fund will be transferred to you. For your assistanc=
e to receive it, you will be entitle for 30% of the total sum, while you wi=
ll help my family invest our share of 70% into a profitable business in you=
r country. Should you need any further information, please do not hesit=
ate to contact me on my email. Yours faithfully, Cecilia Weyers ce=
firstname.lastname@example.org +27 60 500 9089 =20