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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- *our ref:*mr.thembamthembu *email—*email@example.com *email—*firstname.lastname@example.org *phone-+27 71 700 7449* (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Themba Mthembu <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2021 15:35:59 +0200
*Phone-+27 71 700 7449*
*ATTN: Confidant, *
I am contacting you after making official enquiries at the foreign trade
office of the Chambers of Commerce here in Johannesburg, South Africa. I
havenât disclosed the nature of my intention to anyone due to the sensitive
and confidential nature of the project involved which is my need for
assistance in profiling some investment funds and transfer of said funds to
I must plead for your confidence and confidentiality and if it so happens
that you are unable to assist in this projects I would crave your
indulgence and ask that you do not divulge this to any other third party
and ignore this email. I am constrained to issue more details about this
mutually beneficial financial project until I get your positive response by
The fund in question $40,000,000.00 (Forty Million USD) accrued from
over-inflated contract executed by foreign contractors through our
connections and the over invoiced amount is waiting to be remitted from a
commercial bank here in South Africa. By virtue of my position as a senior
civil servant I cannot acquire this money in my name due to the fact that I
am bound by the Civil Service Code of Ethics which bars me from operating
bank accounts outside of our shores. On the other hand it is not safe to
keep the funds here due to security reasons; hence my need to source for an
overseas silent partner to facilitate the transfer of these funds for our
My proposal is that after you receive the funds, it would be shared as
follows: 30% to you as commission for your co-operation and assistance in
facilitating the transfer, while the remaining 65% belongs to me. You will
be free to take out your commission immediately after the money is credited
to your account in your country. Since our objective is to invest the money
in a foreign country, it would be appreciated if you could also help us
with advice and direction on investing into profitable ventures in your
What we need to do is give you an approval from the ministry and you will
email the approval to the paying bank to facilitate the processing and
transfer of the contract funds into any of your nominated bank accounts. If
you are interested and capable, I request you forward your personal details
to my private email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)to enable me
contact you for further discussion. I would also request that you send me
your most confidential phone number for further communication too.
*www.kzndard.gov.za <http://www.kzndard.gov.za> *
Program Implementation Committee.