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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: kingsley ampah <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 1 May 2020 15:52:36 +0000
Subject: from Kingsley
Re: Request for Confidential Business Relationship.
First, I must solicit your confidence in this transaction. I am a high placed official working with Department of Finance (& Economic Affairs), in Cape Town, South Africa. I and two other colleagues are currently in need of a silent foreign partner whose identity we can use to transfer the sum of Thirty Two Million U.S. dollars. (US$32.000,000.00) this fund accrued legitimately to us as commission from foreign contracts, through our private connections.
The fund is presently waiting to be remitted from ABSA bank here in South Africa to any overseas beneficiary confirmed by us as associate/receiver. By virtue of our positions as civil servants in my country, we cannot acquire this money in our names. Because as high placed civil servants, we are not allowed by the civil service code of conduct to own or operate bank accounts outside of our shores. On the other hand, it is not safe for us to keep the money here due to unstable political environment.
I have been mandated as a matter of trust by my colleagues, to look for an overseas silent partner who could work with us to facilitate transfer of this fund for our mutual benefit, hence the reason for this email.
What I am requesting from you is:
(1) To be our silent partner and receive the funds as the sole benefactor to the contract amount which we shall secure all legal documentation to authenticate our claim.
(2) Provide a private telephone and fax number for easy communication under your control.
(3)Receive the funds as the beneficiary, take out your commission and keep the rest of the money until I arrive there to meet you after the transfer is completed.
My proposal is that after you receive the funds, it would be shared as follows: (1) 35% to you as commission for your co-operation and assistance in facilitating the transfer, while the remaining 65% belongs to me and two colleagues. You will be free to take out your commission immediately after the money hits your nominated account.
However, this is optional, and if it is not convenient for you to further assist us with investing the money, we can end our cooperation after you make available to us our part of the money. The transaction, although discrete, is legitimate and the money will be transferred successful with all necessary back-up official documents showing legitimate source/origin of fund. The transfer will be affected within a period not longer than two weeks as soon as we reach an agreement and you furnish me with a suitable response indicating your interest for processing the transfer. I plead with you on one issue, whether you are interested or not, kindly do not expose this information to any one else.
I confirm that the transaction is legitimate and without any risks either to us or yourself. Please, give me your response immediately by return mail through my alternate email:
firstname.lastname@example.org . phone + 27 733640355
Mr. Kingsley Ampah