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:
- 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:
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "is highly confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
Reply-To: Graca <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 29 May 2018 22:23:12 +0200 (SAST)
With due respect, I must apologize for this unsolicited email, I am aware that this is certainly not a conventional way of approaching an unknown person.
I am Mrs. Graca Machel Mandela a Mozambican. The third wife of late Nelson Mandela The former President of the republic of South Africa. Actually, I managed to get your contact details online in my desperate search for a trustworthy person to assist me in this confidential business transaction.
He deposited Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand Dollars for safe keeping in a bank here in South Africa through diplomatic channel, he did this because he knew that upon his death, I might have problem with the senior wives. As his instinct pre-informed him, his fears are ongoing right now after his death. I and my son being in Johannesburg South Africa, decided to transfer this money out of South Africa for my family use since it is the only confidential thing we benefited.
This is genuine and not of criminal origin. I must then emphasize that this transaction is highly confidential. You will have to tell me what percentage of the money you will want to get for your kind assistance for receiving the funds for me and my son.
Therefore indicate your full interest on assurance of trust so that we can actualize this opportunity together. If you are interested, kindly provide me with your full names and direct private phone numbers.
Graca Machel Mandela