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:
- 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:
- "million united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- 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: Eddie Lulu <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "email@example.com " <firstname.lastname@example.org >
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 12:06:46 -0400 (CLT)
Subject: Mr. Eddie Lulu
Mr. Eddie Lulu
This is Strictly Confidential
My name is Mr. Eddie Lulu high placed official working with Department of (Finance & Economic Affairs) in Johannesburg South Africa. I decided to reach you directly to solicit for your assistance and guidelines in making a business investment and transfer of USD$40,000,000.00 (Forty Million United States Dollars) to your country.
Please I must plead for your confidence in this transaction. I and a colleague of mine are currently in need of a secret foreign partner whose identity we can use to transfer this sum of money. But at this moment, I am constrained to issue more details about this profitable business until I get your response by email, please if you can take out a moment of your very busy schedule today to respond back to my private email below for more details and include your private telephone number for easier and faster communication with you.
These funds accrued legitimately to us as commission from foreign contracts, through our private connections. The funds are presently waiting to be remitted from the bank here in South Africa to any overseas beneficiary confirmed by us as associate/receiver. By virtue of our positions as civil servants in my country, we cannot acquire this money in our names. Because as high placed civil servants, we are 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 us to keep the money here due to unstable political environment. My colleague has mandated me as a matter of trust to look for an overseas secret partner who could work with us to facilitate transfer of these funds for our mutual benefit, hence the reason for this email.
So if you consider this proposal, we have agreed to give you 40% of the Total sum of USD$40,000,000.00 for helping us to move this money out of South Africa to your country and for your assistance in investing the fund in your company/country, that will occur during the transfer while 60% will be for me and my partner, it would be appreciated if you could also help us with advices and directives on investing into profitable ventures in your country.
However, this is optional, and if it is not convenient for you to further assist us with investing the money, we can end our cooperation after you make available to me our part of the money. The transaction, although discreet, is legitimate and the money will be transferred successfully with all necessary back-up official documents showing the legitimate source/origin of the funds. The transfer will be effected within a period not longer than one week 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. For us to proceed please reply through this email (email@example.com) send me your direct phone or mobile number: and your Email addresses: for easy communication. Or call me at +27-83-974-0773
Mr. Eddie Lulu