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:
- "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: "Mr. Tambo Dube" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2010 04:20:49 -0700
Subject: Mr. Tambo Dube
From: Mr. Tambo Dube
Phone: +27 781 480 791
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 am currently in need of a silent foreign partner
whose identity we can use to transfer the sum of Sixteen Million Five
Hundred U.S. dollars. This fund accrued legitimately to us as commission
from foreign contracts, through our private connections.
The fund is presently waiting to be remitted from one of the local Bank
here in South Africa to any overseas beneficiary confirmed by us as
associate/receiver. By virtue of my positions as civil servants in my
country, I cannot acquire this money in my name. Because as high placed
civil servant, I am 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 me to keep the money here due to unstable political
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
My proposal is that after you receive the funds, it would be shared as
follows: (1) 15% to you as commission for your co-operation and assistance
in facilitating the transfer, while the remaining 85% belongs to me. You
will be free to take out your commission immediately after the money hits
your country. Since my objective is to invest the money in a foreign
country, it would be appreciated if you could also help me with advices and
direction on investing into profitable/lucrative ventures in your country
for an additional 3%.
However, this is optional, and if it is not convenient for you to further
assist me with investing the money, I can end our cooperation after you
make available my 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
Mr. Tambo Dube