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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million us 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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: peter wilfred <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2014 14:49:21 +0200
Subject: STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
*From Mr. Peter Wilfred *
*Contact Number +27 73 756 4455 *
*Fax : +27 88011-434-0334*
*E-mail:* *firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>*
*Date : 4 /4/2014*
*75 BENMORE ROAD SANDTON.*
*South Africa Johannesburg*
*Managing Director C.EO.*
*Compliment of the day, May I have the pleasure of introducing myself? I am
Mr. Peter Wilfred a senior staff and chairman of Tender Board Committee on
the award of contracts in Department of Works and Housing here in South
Africa. I got your contact E-mail address through the South Africa Chambers
Of commerce to find a trustworthy person on whom I can repose confidence
for colossal international money transaction. *
*My aim of sending this "business proposal" to you is to solicit for your
assistance and co-operation to transfer some huge amount of fund into your
account overseas. Therefore, this communication should be held in high
*My colleague and I in the Department of Works & Housing wish to transfer
into a safe and secured account overseas, the sum of **US$15M (Fifteen
Million US Dollars** which is over-invoiced amount from contracts we
awarded to foreign contractors who have been duly paid on completion of
their various contracts. This money right now is in a coded account in the
Reserve Bank of South Africa. *
*However, by virtue of our position as civil servants, we cannot acquire
these funds in our names or in the names of companies here in South Africa.
I therefore asked by my colleague on trust and sincerity to look for a
reliable international outfit partner abroad into whose account the
sum of **US$15M
(Fifteen Million US Dollars* *would be transferred. We have agreed on the
following sharing ratio if you accept our proposal.*
*Sixty percent (60%) for us and thirty percent (30%) for you, the Account
owner (5%) will be for expenses both parties Might have incurred during the
process of the transferring, and (5%) will be preserved for helping the
helpless people, like charity organization and motherless babies. *
*My choice of you for this transaction is basically hanged on your field
and profession, hence this business proposal. If you are interested in this
deal, I will require some information's from you in order to affect the
transfer of the money. Please, be informed that we shall commence
processing of claims of payment once we receive your interest from you, and
the funds will get into your account within Five (5) working days by
Telegraphic Transfer (T.T). *
*Note that this transaction is 100% risk free. Do acknowledge the receipt
of this letter by indicating your interest in the transaction and also
including your direct contact details such as your telephone and fax
numbers for easy communication or call me on the above numbers as
*My Private:+27 73-756 4455*
*Best Regards *
*Mr. Peter Wilfred*