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.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge deposit" (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)
- "million united state 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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Fehiman Johnson <email@example.com>
No,301 William Nicole Road Sandton,
Republic Of South Africa.
I am Fehiman Johnson, a South Africa citizen and also the personal attorney
to one Mr. Glenn Warrington, a citizen of your country, who was a farmer
here in South Africa and a consultant with Shell oil and gas South Africa
(Pty) who shall be referred to as my client.
Unfortunately my client lost his life during the Xenophobia Attacks in
South Africa 2016. And left no clear beneficiary as Next of Kin except some
vital documents related to the deposit still with me. All efforts by me to
trace his Next of Kin proved abortive because he did not make any will
prior to his death. Since then I have made several inquiries to locate any
of my late client's extended relatives and this has proved unsuccessful.
After my several unsuccessful attempts to locate any member of his family
hence I contacted you. My intention of contacting you is to assist in
claiming the fund left behind by my client before they get confiscated or
in other words seized or declared unclaimed by the Bank where this huge
deposit was deposited.
Particularly, the bank where the deceased had the said fund valued at
US$23.500, 000.00 (twenty Three Million Five Hundred Thousand United State
Dollars) has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin.
Consequent upon this, my idea is that we can have a deal/agreement and I am
going to do this legally with your name as the bonafide beneficiary of the
amount in question as I have all legal document to back our claim, I seek
your consent to present you as the next of kin to the Bank so that the
proceeds of this account valued at $23.500.000 Million United State Dollars
can be paid to your account abroad, note that 40% of this money will be for
you, in respect to the provision of a foreign account and 57% for me, 3%
will be used for the reimbursement of any expenditure we may incur in the
cause of the transaction.
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that
will protect you from any breach of the law; all I need from you is your
utmost Collaboration and sincerity for us to thrive in this deal. Get back
to me via this email firstname.lastname@example.org) ASAP for further
If you are interested in this proposed partnership. However, if you are not
interested please do keep me informed as well so I can proceed further with
my search. This is urgent matter kindly respond to me with
Barrister Fehiman Johnson.
Phone; +27 832 299 219