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, 23 Jul 2020 16:45:48 +0200
From: Dr. Mathew Zikalala Date: 23/07/2020. Email: email@example.com T=
elephone: +27837279295. CONFIDENTIAL PROPOSAL Dear Sir/madam, I got your co=
ntact from your country's online business directory I saw on the internet d=
uring my search for a foreign partner and I decided to reach you because pr=
esently 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 Unit=
of Standard Bank of South Africa (SBSA) This message might meet you in utm=
ost surprise. However, it=92s just my urgent need for a foreign partner tha=
t made me to contact you for this transaction. An account was opened in my =
bank by one of my costumer in the name of MR. THOMAS BAHIA a Dutch National=
from Germany who was a consultant/contractor with the Federal Ministry of =
Mines and Power here in South Africa made a numbered time fixed Deposit, va=
lued at $11,500,000.00 (Eleven Million, Five hundred Thousand United States=
Dollars) for twelve (12) calendar months in my Bank branch and since 2010,=
this account has never be operated. Upon maturity, we sent a routine notif=
ication to his forwarding address but got no reply. After a month, we sent =
a reminder and finally I discovered from his contract employers that MR. TH=
OMAS BAHIA is no longer on earth because he died with his entire family on =
Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 from Johannesburg South Africa plane crash tha=
t occurred in Libya on the 12th of May 2010 and below is a link for your vi=
ew. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/13/world/middleeast/13libya.html The sai=
d fund is still in my Bank branch and the interest is being rolled over wit=
h 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 accumulate=
d interest. In accordance with South Africa Government Law, at the expirati=
on of 11 (Eleven) years, the money will be reverted back to the ownership o=
f the Government of South Africa as unclaimed fund if nobody comes forward =
for the funds and it will be tag unclaimed funds. Consequently, I want to p=
resent you as the next of kin to this late customer; hence you are a foreig=
ner like him and the funds will be transferred to your Bank account and aft=
er the successful transfer of the funds, I will come over to your country f=
or 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 in=
volved, as I will use my position in the Bank to secure approvals and guara=
ntee 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 will=
send to you detailed Information on how this business would be successfull=
y transacted. Be informed that nobody knows about the secret of this fund e=
xcept me and I know how to carry out the entire transaction. Please include=
your private phone numbers for a voice talk and reply me through the email=
below: firstname.lastname@example.org Looking forward to your urgent reply to enab=
le me give you more details and should you receive this letter many times, =
never mind because I sent it multiple times just to make sure it reaches yo=
u. Thanks, Dr. Mathew Zikalala.