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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: "Mr.Themba Mthembu" <>
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2023 14:05:00 +0200
Subject: Agriculture Business Venture.

God Bless You Sir/Ma,

My name is Mr. Themba Mthembu. I am contacting you after making
official enquiries at the foreign trade office of the Chambers of
Commerce here in Johannesburg, South Africa. I haven’t disclosed the
nature of my intention to anyone due to the sensitive and confidential
nature of the project which is my need for assistance in securing some
investment funds and transfer of said funds to your country.

I must plead for your confidentiality and if it so happens that you
are unable to assist in this project, I will crave your indulgence and
ask that you do not divulge this to any other third party. I am
constrained to issue more details about this mutual beneficial
financial project until I get your positive reply.

The fund in question $25,000,000.00 (Twenty-Five 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 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 secret partner to facilitate
the transfer of the said funds for our mutual benefit.

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,
while 5% will be set aside for expenses. 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 business 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 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
on( to enable me to contact you for
further discussion. I would also request that you send me your phone
number for further communication too.

Kind Regards,
Mr. Themba Mthembu
Phone- +27-71-700-7449
Program Implementation Committee.

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