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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: "ernest colmn" <>
Date: Sat, 07 Jan 2006 12:18:42 +0000

Private Fax: +27112197090

Fax: + 873 763 593 926.

Jan. 6th 2006,




It is my great pleasure to write you this letter on behalf of my colleagues.
I have decided to seek a confidential cooperation with you in the execution
of a deal hereunder for the mutual benefit of all parties involve, and hope
you will keep it confidential because of the nature of the transaction.
Within the Department of Minerals & Energy where I work as the Director of
Mineral Policy & Investment, I have the co-operation of two other top
officials and we have in our possession an overdue payment in United States
of America Dollars.

The fund represents certain percentage of contracts executed on behalf of my
Ministry by a Foreign Contractor. We were instrumental to the over-invoicing
of the contract to the tune of US$28,600,000.00 (Twenty Eight Million Six
Hundred Thousand United States Dollars). Though, the actual cost has been
paid to the original contractor, leaving the excess balance
(US$28,600,000.00) unclaimed. With democratic constitution, sound economic
growth, financial discipline, social and economic stability and a confident
fielding of the full team of its talented people, the government of the
Republic of South Africa believes that private investment in general, and
foreign direct investment in particular are the real engines for sustainable
economic development, for which reason it has continued to encourage
investment in the key growth-oriented sector of Mining with sincere
determination to pay foreign contractors all debts owed so as to continue to
enjoy a mutually beneficial cooperation and maintain good relationship with
other foreign governments. As a result we included our Bills for approvals
with the co-operation of some officials at the Ministry of Finance.

We are thus seeking your assistance MORALLY, FINANCIALLY and OTHERWISE as
the Beneficiary of the unclaimed funds, since the code of conduct does not
allow us to operate a foreign account or own a foreign company. In order to
commence immediate action on the said project, we require the following

1) Your company’s name and address,

2) Confidential telephone and fax numbers.

The requested information will be used to make a formal application to the
Government Ministries as a matter of procedure for the issuance of approval
for the payment of the funds into your account. It does not really matter
whether or not your company does contract projects of the nature described

The assumption is that your company won the major contract and subcontracted
it to other company. More often than not, big trading companies and firms of
unrelated fields win major contracts, and subcontract to more specialized
firms for execution, With my strong connections in the Reserve Bank of South
Africa (RBSA) and Department of Finance and if ably supported by you as our
foreign partner, you are assured of 100% Risk-Free and mutually beneficial
transaction. We hereby propose that should you be willing to assist us in
this transaction, your share as compensation will be 20%, while my
colleagues and I receive 80%. This transaction should be considered 100%
safe and legal provided you treat it with utmost confidentiality it

I have reposed my confidence in you and hope that you will not disappoint us
now or in the future. So far, much has been said and due to our sensitive
positions we cannot afford a slip in this transaction, neither, can we give
out our identities, as per our respective offices but where relationship is
established and smooth operation commences, you will be furnished with all
you deserve to know.

Kindly notify me by email for further details upon your acceptance of this
proposal, if in the contrary you are not interested kindly notify me also.

Please treat as URGENT and highly CONFIDENTIAL.

Yours Faithfully,

MR. Ernest Mabuza Colman.

NB: Please note that I am right now in Europe on an official assignment and
will be back to South Africa in the next week, please for immediate response
call me on my private phone or send email and I will respond.

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