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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "30% for you " (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "there is no risk involved" (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 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.
- 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: Lucky Sipo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Lucky Sipo <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2014 23:13:28 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Urgent Business Proposal
FROM: MR. LUCKY SIPO.
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.orgTELEPHONE +27-73-675-1309
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â CONFIDENTIAL PROPOSALMy Dear friend,
I got your contact from your country's business directory book that I saw in South African Chambers of CommerceÂ and industries and I decided to reach you because presently I am in desperate in need of a trust worthy foreign person for this proposal.I am Mr. Lucky Sipo assistant Branch Manager, Standard Bank of South Africa (SBSA). In July 2010, one of myÂ customer by the name MR. SATOSHI SAKURA from Japan who was a consultant/contractor with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Power here in South Africa, made a numbered time fixed Deposit, valued $11,500,000.00 (Eleven Million, Five hundred Thousand United States Dollars) for twelve (12) calendar months in my Bank branch.
Upon maturity, we sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply. After a month, we sent a reminder finally I discovered from his contract employers that he is no longer on earth because he died with his entire family in Tsunami disaster of 11th of March 2011.
The said fund is still in my Bank and the interest is being rolled over with the principal sum at the end of each year.Now the fund is $12,200,000.00 (Twelve Million Two Hundred Thousand US Dollars) because of the accumulated interest.
In accordance with South Africa Government Law, at the expiration of 5 (Five) years, the money will be reverted back to the ownership of the Government of South Africa if nobody comes forward for the claim.
Consequently, I want to present you as the next of kin to this late customer; hence you are aforeigner like him and the $12,200,000.00 (Twelve Million Two Hundred Thousand US Dollars) will be transferred to your Bank account and after the successful transfer of the funds, the money will be shared in the ratio of 65% for me, 30% for you and 5% to cover our expenses after the deal.
There is no risk involved, as I will use my position as the assistant Branch Bank Manager to secure approvals and guarantee the successful execution of this transaction within 7-working days. If this proposal interests you, let me know by sending me an email and I will send to you detailed Information on how this business would be successfullytransacted. Be informed that nobody knows about the secret of this fund except my self and I know how to cover the entire transaction.
Please include your private phone number for voice contact and reply me through this email:email@example.com
Looking forward to your urgent reply to enable me give you more details and you can as well give me a call..Thanks,Mr. Lucky Sipo