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"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:

Fraud email example:

From: "Themba Mthembu" <>
Date: Sun, 02 Oct 2022 00:59:32 +0200
Subject: Project Implementation


I am contacting you after making official enquiries at the foreign trade o=
ffice of the Chambers of Commerce here in Johannesburg, South Africa. I hav=
en=2019t disclosed the nature of my intention to anyone due to the sensitiv=
e and confidential nature of the project involved which is my need for assi=
stance in profiling some investment funds and transfer of said funds to you=
r country.

I must plead for your confidence and confidentiality and if it so happens =
that you are unable to assist in this project I would crave your indulgence=
and ask that you do not divulge this to any other third party and ignore t=
his email. I am constrained to issue more details about this mutually benef=
icial financial project until I get your positive response by email.

The fund in question $40,000,000.00 (Forty Million USD) accrued from an ov=
er-inflated contract executed by foreign contractors through our connection=
s 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 serva=
nt I cannot acquire this money in my name due to the fact that I am bound b=
y the Civil Service Code of Ethics which bars me from operating bank accoun=
ts outside of our shores. On the other hand it is not safe to keep the fund=
s here due to security reasons; hence my need to source for an overseas sil=
ent partner to facilitate the transfer of these funds for our mutual benefi=

My proposal is that after you receive the funds, it would be shared as fol=
lows: 30% to you as commission for your cooperation and assistance in facil=
itating the transfer, while the remaining 65% belongs to me. You will be fr=
ee to take out your commission immediately after the money is credited to y=
our 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 a=
dvice and direction on investing into profitable ventures in your country.

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 tran=
sfer 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 to enable me to contact you f=
or further discussion. I would also request that you send me your most conf=
idential phone number for further communication too.

Themba Mthembu
Phone: + 27 71 700 7449
Director, Project Implementation and Audit Committee

Anti-fraud resources: