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:
- "the consignment" (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)
- "consignment " (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)
- ",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)
- "confidentiality of this transaction" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "on my direct telephone line" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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 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: MRS CATHY MOYO & WISDOM MOYO <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: MRS CATHY MOYO & WISDOM MOYO <email@example.com>
Date: 22 Apr 2021 03:01:58 -0700
Subject: CATHY MOYO & WISDOM MOYO
FROM: MRS CATHY MOYO & WISDOM MOYO
Good day! My name is Cathy Moyo the widow of Mayor Rossma Moyo of
Zimbabwe. This might be a surprise to you on where I got your
address, I got your contacts through search on line from the
South African, so I decided to contact you for a business
During the current war against farmers in Zimbabwe and from the
support of our Late PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE to claim all white
owned farms in my country, all the white farmers were ordered to
surrender their farms to his party members and his followers. My
husband then was one of the richest black farmer in my country
and the treasurer of the farmer's co-operation of which he was
against all his ideas and so the party members invaded our farm
kill my husband and made away
with a lot of our properties and some of my fatherâs Bank
accounts were frozen.
After My husbandâs death, we were notified of the funds which my
husband had deposited, the sum of US$32,500,000.00 (Thirty Two
Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars)with the
Finance Company here in South Africa for safe keeping as family
valuables,and for the future of my family and these funds were
deposited in my son name (Wisdom Rossma Moyo), as the beneficiary
of this consignment.
I thus decided to move down to the Republic of South Africa
because my live was in danger.
So I decided to contact you as an overseas firm or partner who
will assist me to move these funds out of here, because I am an
asylum seeker in Republic of South Africa, and the financial laws
in Republic of South Africa does not allow asylum any financial
rights. So if you consider this proposal, we have to agreed on
the percentage You should also bear in mind that, the Finance
Company does not have any idea of the true contents of the
consignment lodged in their custody since it
was declared as Family valuables not available cash in order to
avoid high storage charges and also my safety.
I would like you to furnish me with all your full particulars and
your personal phone if you are truly interested, for easy
communication and for the confidentiality of this transaction.
Kindly, contact me on my direct telephone line immediately you
make up your mind to assist us.
Thanks and God Bless You.
MRS. CATHY MOYO WISDOM
FOR THE FAMILY.