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:
- 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:
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "headquater" (this email uses bad English)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "ADAMS JERRY" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001 23:18:29 -0800
CONTRACT REVIEW COMMISSION HEADQUATERS
5 INDEPENDENT Avenue, PRETORIA
Fax: 00 86 5531 019
ATTN: MANAGING DIRECTOR,
(TOP SECRET PROPOSAL: VALUE $ 26
MILLION U.S. DOLLARS)
My name is ADAMS JERRY member of South African Senate and Deputy Chairman;
Contract reviews Commission of the Republic Of South Africa. I was
directed by The Chairman to send this urgent proposal to you. The national
contract general review of all Federal Unpaid contracts from the Apartheid
Era and at the same time authenticates the genuine ones.
The decree that established this commission gave birth to the contract
Remittance department of the reserve Bank of South Africa, which works in
conjunction with the contract review commission.
This means that any genuine contract payment reviewed and authenticated by
this commission would be automated by the contract Remittance Department.
It happened that we had a contractor by the name of Thomas Gibson (a
Swedish) who was awarded a contract by the South Africa government in
1996.He completed his contract in December 2000 and was given payment
approval Order in January 2001. But Mr. Gibson did not live to claim the
US$ 26 millions as we learnt that he died in a plane crash in Southern
Cameroon 5th of May 2007.
After the death of Mr. Gibson, this commission tried to locate his next of
kin who would be beneficiary of the contract money as contained in his
contract file. But to our greatest surprise, we learnt that the next of
kin Mr. Daniel Lewis was with Mr.Gibson in the same flight that crashed in
Southern Cameroon. He was also dead.
To add more there was a fire disaster that destroyed the South African
Mining Corporation Building on 25th December 2002. (S.A.M.C Building was
where the late Mr. Gilbson was awarded contract of the $26 M) during the
inferno, all valuables documents including Contract Documents of Late Mr.
Gibson were burnt to ashes thereby wiping off all records of his
In view of the above general belief, I and top members of this Commission
decided to contact you to act as the beneficiary of the fund and provide
an account where we will transfer the fund with the intension of sharing
it among us since Mr. Gibson and the next of kin are not alive to claim
the money. And if not cleared it will be returned to the government
As the top officials of this commission, be rest assured that there is no
course for alarm, as we would use your name to transcribe the details of
the late Mr. Gibson without any problem. This transaction is 100% risk
free. On the confirmation of your interest and readiness to assist us in
this transaction I will give you more detailed information and the laid
down procedure for a hitch-free transfer, which I amsure you would be
satisfied with. When confirming receipt of this message, do not forget
include your personal/direct telephone and fax numbers for personalized
However we have mapped out 30% of the US$26 Million for you as a
commission for your assistance. While the remaining 70% is meant for the
officials and I involve. This money cannot be approved to a local bank
account holder, but can only be approved to a foreigner that is why I have
come to seek your assistance.
Please if after reading my proposal and you are not interested in my
offer, please!!! Do not disclose this offer to anybody. This is because we
are top and influence officials and do not want our image to be dented,
keep it TOP SECRET anticipating
your urgent response
RegardsSenator: ADAMS JERRY