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:
- 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:
- "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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS.SUSAN " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2023 02:34:22 +0200
FROM MRS. SUSAN SHABANGU
Minister of Social Development
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
First, let me start by introducing myself My name is Mrs. Susan
Shabangu, I am visually impaired Widow, a mother of three children and
former Deputy Minister for Safety and Security of the Republic of
South Africa under the auspices of the former President of South
Africa, Mr.Jacob Zuma, and was formerly elected as Minister of Women
in the Presidency 03 June 2014
under the auspices of the new President of South Africa, Mr.Cyril
Ramaphosa and now presently the Minister of Social Development from
2018-02-27. After due deliberation with my children, I decided to
contact you for your assistance in standing as a beneficiary to the
sum of US$30.5M (Thirty Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States
Dollars Only). You can view my profile at my (website by clicking
(http://www.women.gov.za ) and read about me.
THE PROPOSAL, after my swearing in ceremony making me the former
Minister of Safety and Security, my husband Mr. Ndebele Shabangu died
while he was on an official trip to Trinidad and Tobago. After his
death, I discovered that he had some funds in a dollar account which
amounted to the sum of US$30.5Million with a security and finance
institution in South Africa of which I will divulge information to you
when I get your full consent and support to go for a change of
beneficiary and subsequent transfer of the funds into your comfortable
and conducive account of your choice. This fund emanated as a result
of an over-invoiced contract which he executed with the Government of
South Africa. Though I assisted him in getting this contract but I
never knew that it was over-invoiced by him. I am afraid that the
government of South Africa might start to investigate on contracts
awarded from 1990 to date.
If they discover this money in his security company account, they will
confiscate it and seize his assets here in South Africa and this will
definitely affect my political career in, government. I want your
assistance either by coming down to South Africa in person or provide
your complete bank details information, so that these funds could be
wired directly into your overseas account without any hitch. I am
offering you 20% of the principal sum which amounts to US$6,100.000.00
(Six million One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) and 5%
will be for any expenses that both of us may Insure in this
transaction. And another 5% will go for Motherless babies home.
However, you have to assure me and also be ready to go into agreement
with me that you will not elope with my fund. If you agree to my
terms, kindly as a matter of urgency send me an email.
Also, I can give you my banker phone number so that you can contact
him and discuss with him directly as he already promised to use his
position to move this fund out of South Africa, itâs okay and fine by
me. Please I do not need to remind you of the need for absolute
Confidentiality of this transaction.
My regards to your family
FROM MRS. SUSAN SHABANGU