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 state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Earnest Roland." (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2013 14:41:47 +0100
Subject: FROM EARNEST ROLAND
PO Box 1144, Johannesburg, 2000
I am MR. EARNEST ROLAND, the Chief Auditor of the NedBank of South Africa (Ned Bank). I got your contact address from the Trade and Exhibition Centre here in Johannesburg and you are the only person that I have contacted in this business with believe that you will not let me down and we will work together to develop trust and confidence in this business. After going through some old file in the records department, I discover that there is an account opened in 1980 belonging to the late Mr. Jerome N. Snaga a foreigner and a miner at Kruger Gold Company a geologist by profession and since 1990 nobody has operated the account following Mr. Snagas death in 1990. Since then, no other person knows about this account, and the amount involved is US$82 million (EIGHTY TWO MILLION UNITED STATE DOLLARS).
I would like to first transfer US$12 million into your overseas account as a foreigner because Mr. Snaga was a foreigner then later I will transfer the remaining US$70 million before joining you in person for disbursement and investment opportunity which you will be an asset to it. I am only contacting you because of your foreign status as this money cannot be approved to a local bank here, but can be approved to any foreign account because the money is in a foreign currency (US dollars) and former owner of the account, Mr. Snaga was a foreigner.
Because of the need to involve a foreign account, I need your full co-operation to make this work fine because the management is ready to approve the payment to whoever has the correct information to this account, of which I will give you later, if you are able to handle such amount in strict confidence and trust according to my instruction and advice for our mutual benefits because this opportunity will never come again in our lives. I need a trustworthy person in this business because I dont want to make a mistake and I need your strong assurance, trust and reliability.
With my position now in the office and the influence of the top bank director of the South African Reserve Bank, I will make sure that this money is transferred into any reliable account, which you can provide with the assurance that this money will be intact pending my physical arrival in your country for my sharing. Your physical presence is also welcomed in South Africa in which the transfer will be done in your presence. I will destroy all the documents of the transaction immediately you receive this money, leaving no trace in any place.
I have the tendency to invest my own share of the money in your country in expectation to a sound management and a good capital returns according to your advice. Rest assured you stand no risk of any kind as the fund belong to us now, therefore after the eventual stage of the transfer of this fund, I am offering you 30% of the total fund, 65% will be for my investment while 5% will be set aside for expenses that might be incurred during the cause of this transaction. I strongly believe that associating with you to embark on this fund transfer and other business ventures will derive a huge success there after. I will use my position to effect approvals for onward transfer of this money to your account with appropriate clearance form from the ministries and foreign exchange department. I am counting on your sense of confidentiality, as it is my desire that you keep this to yourself and endeavor to furnish me with your private telephone (mobile preferably), fax numbers and your bank details where you would l
Looking forward to your urgent respond.You are advised to contact him with the information stated below:
Your full Name:
Your direct Tel, Cell: