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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "million 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)
- "confidential business" (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 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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Zenani <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2023 15:04:05 +0200
GOOD DAY, I am aware that this is certainly not a conventional way of
approaching an unknown person for the establishment of a project and
investment. But I respectfully insist you read this message carefully
before you either make your decision of proceeding or deleting my message,
as I am optimistic it will be successful for unimaginable financial benefit
for both of us. I am Mrs. Zenani Mandela, former ambassador of South Africa
to Argentina from 2012 until 2017 when I was appointed as the South African
high commissioner to Mauritius. The First Daughter of South African icon
and freedom fighter late Winnie Madikizela Mandela, The Wife of The
former President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 who died on December 5,
2013, after a protracted lung infection, contracted during his 27th years
of incarceration in Robin Island prison.
I managed to get your contact details online here in Johannesburg South
Africa in my desperate search for a trustworthy person to assist me in this
confidential business transaction. My Late Mother Winnie
madikizela Mandela just died On 2nd April 2018, and she left behind
some funds in a trust fund account Amounting to US$15Million Dollars. I am
cancer long-suffering, the doctor has advised me that I may not live for
more than three months, and warned me to stop thinking over who is going to
inherit my money. I want this fund transferred out of South Africa for
investments/contributions to the less privileged, and orphanage homes, and
some of it be used for charity works. Therefore indicate your full interest
in the assurance of trust, so that we can actualize this great opportunity
together and share the benefit together with the help of God. And in the
area you are not interested in this deal please kindly ignore it
immediately. If interested; kindly respond via my email, your full name,
and private phone numbers, or call me.
With Regards, in sincerity,
Mrs. Zenani Mandela
Phone: No +27-71-9697-140
4th Street Houghton Estates
Johannesburg South Africa