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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- this transaction. you should send me response to e-mail: (email@example.com) or e-mail: (firstname.lastname@example.org) sincerely, engr.rapheal (Aol; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 02:44:18 +0100
Subject: CONTACT ME URGENTLY FOR A MUTUAL BUSINESS !!!
CONTACT ME URGENTLY FOR A MUTUAL BUSINESS !!!
DEPARTMENT OF MINERALS AND ENERGY
Mineral Centre, 234 Visagie Street,
Pretoria 0001 RSA.
From the Desk of: Engr. Mr.Rapheal James
Am from South Africa, I have a Mutual business proposal am proposing to
you, that I will want you to handle from your country, I will like to
seek your consent first.
I have a serious business project proposal for you to manage and handle
for me in your country. This project involves a huge specific amount of
money I can't mention here for security reasons. It involve a
transaction from Johannesburg. Am a south africa man, and we are bound
by laws here. as a civil servant we are bound from having offshore
account, i want you to receive this fund and invest it for me, if you
agree to assist me by providing a reliable account which this money can
be transfer into and also stand as my oversea partner to this fund, we
shall discuss your percentage when i receive your willingness to partner
If you feel you can have this handled, please let me know, so that I
send you an attached comprehensive details of this transaction. you
should send me response to e-mail: (email@example.com) Or e-mail:
of Contract Award and
Monitoring Committee (CAMC) &
South African Petroleum Corporation (SAPC)