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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: "Jacob Mbele as Director General" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2022 16:33:46 +0200
Subject: !RedDwarf-SPAM! Business Proposal (Mr. Paul Maroga South Africa)

From Office of the Director,
Department of Minerals and Energy
Project Implementation Unit, Department of Minerals and Energy,
Trevenna Campus, Building 2C, Cnr Meintjes & Francis Baard Streets, Sunnyside, Pretori
Republic of South Africa.
Telephone Number: +27 78 709 17 12


Mineral Resources and Energy welcomes the appointment of Jacob Mbele as Director General

Dear Friend,

Having consulted with my colleagues Mr. June Williams and based on the information gathered from the Chambers Of Commerce and Industry, I have the privilege to request your assistance to transfer the sum of $47,500,000.00 (Forty-Seven Million, Five Hundred thousand United States dollars) into your accounts. The above sum resulted from an over-invoiced contract, executed, commissioned and paid for about five years (5) ago by a foreign contractor. This action was however intentional and since then the fund has been in a suspense account at The Apex Bank, South African Reserve Bank awaiting final payment to any reliable foreign bank account you may provide.

We are now ready to transfer the fund overseas and that is where you come in. It is important to inform you that as civil servants, we are forbidden to operate a foreign account; that is why we require your assistance. The total sum will be shared as follows: 70% for us, 25% for you and 5% for local and international expenses incidental to the transfer.

The transfer is risk free on both sides. My colleague Mr. June Williams is an accountant with the Department of minerals and energy company LTD, republic of South Africa. If you find this proposal acceptable, we shall require the following documents:

(a) Your banker's name, Address, telephone, account and fax numbers.

(b) Your private telephone and fax numbers for confidentiality and easy communication.

(c) Your letter-headed paper stamped and signed.

Alternatively, we will furnish you with the text of what to type into your letter-headed paper, along with a breakdown explaining, comprehensively what we require of you. The business will take us thirty (30) working days to accomplish.

Thank you, I am looking forward to hearing from you.

My best regards,

Mr. Paul Maroga

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