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:
- 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 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "is highly confidential" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ruben M. Jason" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2019 13:22:20 -0500
Subject: Re: Eskom Centre South Africa Contract & Details
Eskom Centre Bloemfontein
120 Henry St, Westdene,
My name is Mr. Ruben M. Jason; Personal Assistant to a Senior Government Official (Eskom CEO) Matshela Koko who relinquished his position of Eskom CEO Friday 16th February, 2018 in order to avoid facing a series of new charges. Between 2014 and 2017, multinational consultants McKinsey and its de facto empowerment partner, Trillian which linked to Gupta family Gupta family received contracts worth 11.7 Billion ZAR which equivalent to 1,002,838,594.54 Billion USD from Eskom to supply coal.
During the reign of Matshela Koko as Eskom CEO from 01st December, 2016 till 31st January, 2018, I deliberately inflated and over invoiced the Contract Sum, leaving an excess of US$90, 000,000.00 (Ninety Million United States Dollars Only). At the completion of the Contract, the real Contract Sum was paid to the original Contractors (Gupta family), leaving the excess, which we reported to the Government that it belonged to the sub-contractor that handled part of the original contract. But the company we submitted as the beneficiary was a non-existing foreign company, which was a purported attempt by us to divert the money for our private use. I do not intend to mince words with you, I have to tell you the truth; this is a business deal but completely risk-free, secure and genuine because the contract has been perfectly and genuinely executed and completed. It depends on whether you are interested or not.
Right now this amount is due for payment and is floating in the treasury attached to non-existing foreign Company. This Contract Sum cannot claim because the non-existing foreign Company will be made a long existing Company with the information of the foreign Contractor that is why I contacted you so that we can claim the Contract Sum for our mutual benefit.
I will use my past official position with the prominent people I know in South African Government to source all the necessary approvals, official documents and certificates that will back up the fund to reflect that you/your company genuinely executed and completed the contract. All necessary arrangements have been put in place in all the relevant departments for immediate approval of this payment.
For your co-operation, I have agreed to offer you 50% of the entire amount on conclusion of the transaction while 50% also will be for mine. Please if you are interested in this proposal, I want you to respond immediately for further information and directives.
This transaction is expected to be completed as soon as possible based on our readiness and is highly confidential and discreet. Thank you for your co-operation. Your urgent reply is awaited.
Mr. Ruben M. Jason
PA To Matshela Koko (Eskom CEO)