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:
- 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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: "Mr. Mthew Zikalala" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 2020 05:47:11 +0200
From: Dr. Mathew Zikalala Date: 16/07/2020. Email: email@example.com=
Telephone: +27837279295. CONFIDENTIAL PROPOSAL Dear Sir/madam, I got your =
contact from your country's online business directory I saw on the internet=
during my search for a foreign partner and I decided to reach you because =
presently I am in need of a trust worthy foreign person for this proposal. =
My name is Dr. Mathew Zikalala the Chief Operating Officer in accounting Un=
it of Standard Bank of South Africa (SBSA) This message might meet you in u=
tmost surprise. However, it=92s just my urgent need for a foreign partner t=
hat made me to contact you for this transaction. An account was opened in m=
y bank by one of my costumer in the name of MR. THOMAS BAHIA a Dutch Nation=
al from Germany who was a consultant/contractor with the Federal Ministry o=
f Mines and Power here in South Africa made a numbered time fixed Deposit, =
valued at $11,500,000.00 (Eleven Million, Five hundred Thousand United Stat=
es Dollars) for twelve (12) calendar months in my Bank branch and since 201=
0, this account has never be operated. Upon maturity, we sent a routine not=
ification to his forwarding address but got no reply. After a month, we sen=
t a reminder and finally I discovered from his contract employers that MR. =
THOMAS BAHIA is no longer on earth because he died with his entire family o=
n Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 from Johannesburg South Africa plane crash t=
hat occurred in Libya on the 12th of May 2010 and below is a link for your =
view. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/13/world/middleeast/13libya.html The s=
aid fund is still in my Bank branch and the interest is being rolled over w=
ith the principal sum at the end of each year. Now the fund is $12,200,000.=
00 (Twelve Million Two Hundred Thousand US Dollars) because of the accumula=
ted interest. In accordance with South Africa Government Law, at the expira=
tion of 11 (Eleven) years, the money will be reverted back to the ownership=
of the Government of South Africa as unclaimed fund if nobody comes forwar=
d for the funds and it will be tag unclaimed funds. Consequently, I want to=
present you as the next of kin to this late customer; hence you are a fore=
igner like him and the funds will be transferred to your Bank account and a=
fter the successful transfer of the funds, I will come over to your country=
for the shearing and the money will be shared in the ratio of 45% for me, =
45% for you and 10% to cover our expenses after the deal. There is no risk =
involved, as I will use my position in the Bank to secure approvals and gua=
rantee the successful execution of this transaction within 9-working days. =
If this proposal interests you, let me know by sending me an email and I wi=
ll send to you detailed Information on how this business would be successfu=
lly transacted. Be informed that nobody knows about the secret of this fund=
except me and I know how to carry out the entire transaction. Please inclu=
de your private phone numbers for a voice talk and reply me through the ema=
il below: firstname.lastname@example.org Looking forward to your urgent reply to =
enable me give you more details and should you receive this letter many tim=
es, never mind because I sent it multiple times just to make sure it reache=
s you. Thanks, Dr. Mathew Zikalala.