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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: mrs.rebeccaanashe magorokosho
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2017 07:01:27 +0000
Subject: Mrs. Rebecca Anashe Magorokosho And (Family)
FROM: Mrs. Rebecca Anashe Magorokosho
May the blessings of God be upon you and grant you the wisdom and sympathy to understand my situation and how much I and my family need your help.
I am Mrs. Rebecca Anashe Magorokosho, wife of Late Mr. Silas Hungwe Magorokosho who was murdered by the Zimbabwean war Veterans and irritates black people. Before the death of my husband on the 29th of June 2015, he was a prosperous tobacco and coffee farmer in Zimbabwe and one of the major sponsors/financiers of the opposition party- Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in Zimbabwe. He was also the former President of the Farmers Co-operative Trade Union in Zimbabwe and special adviser to the Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
I am writing from Johannesburg South Africa. I got your contact address from the South African International Information Exchange Centre and decided to write you. I write to solicit for your special assistance to a family shattered by a tyrannical government led by the dictator President ROBERT MUGABE, and his (ZANU-PF) ruling party, now inclusive government I am probably of the conviction that you are aware of the present situation in my country Zimbabwe sequel to the land and farmland problem in Zimbabwe. The government secretly sponsored the war veterans and some irate party members to dispossess the land being occupied by white and some rich black farmers who are opposed to his consistent stay in power and his radical and unnecessary reforms targeted at his political opponents. This action has led to the killing of some members of the opposition party including my husband (Mr. Silas Hungwe), who did not support this ill-fated action. But before the death of my husband and the consistent threat to his life, he anticipated some dangers and so he smuggled out the sum of Twenty One Million Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($21,300,000.00 USD) Only, to South Africa since it is the nearest neighbouring country and deposited it in a Security Company with the intention of using it for the purchase of new farm machinery and chemicals for agricultural purposes in South Africa, as well as the purchase of some hectares of land in Swaziland.
On the 29th June 2015, the war veterans and some supporters of (ZANU-PF) ruling party trooped into our compound and axed him (My husband) to death. Since then, they have been terrorizing my family, but I succeeded in working for our escape to South Africa as a political asylum seeker (refugee). But our position in South Africa does not permit me to open a non-resident account or normalize our fund for any meaningful business transaction in South Africa since both country has the same political history That is why I want this fund to be transferred to your nominated bank account overseas for investment in your country, if you agree to assist us, we have two options for you, we have agreed to go into partnership with you and your family or in the alternative, We have also agree to offer 25% of the money for your assistance, 5% will be for possible expenses incurred in the process of this transaction, while 60% will be for my familys investment in your country through your assistance.
I want you to understand that this fund is purely a family fund/money and not drug money, nor could it be classified as government fund or money laundering affairs and relevant authorities could substantiate it by our attorney. It is family fund but termed confidential because I do not want to be traced. If you are interested in assisting us, kindly contact me with this email address: email@example.com , I am presently in South Africa with the whole of my family sequel to the tensed political situation and the fear for our lives in Zimbabwe.
Mrs. Rebecca Anashe Magorokosho And (Family)