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.
- 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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "first national bank" (not involved with lotteries)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "i got your email address from " (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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: Steve Joe <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2015 05:26:40 +0000
From: Mr. Steve Joe
Address: 58 Wellington Road, Lombardy East, S.A
Direct line: +27 846 438 137
Direct e-mail: email@example.com
RE: TRANSFER OF $US38.5M INTO YOUR ACCOUNT.
I write you this mail from my office table in anticipation that you will
understand and deem it strictly confidential for you personally. In this
regard also, I consider it necessary to tell you who I am. I am Mr. Steve
Joe, the Chief Accounting Officer Department of Energy and Mineral
Resources in my country, Republic of South Africa. Please do not despair
because I got your email address from world business journal before making
my contact with you during my search for a reliable and honest person to
transact this business with and I humbly ask that you take due
consideration of its importance and immense benefit it will be to both of
SOURCES OF THIS FUND:
I therefore write to solicit your sincere co-operation in order to Redeem
an investment interest currently being held under TRUST with the Department
of Energy and Mineral Resources in First National Bank of South Africa
(FNB).The said investment which is now valued at (US$38.5M) Thirty Eight
Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars was originally
purchased by MR.REUBEN ROSS and leased in 1984 to REGINALD AND CO.MINING
At maturity of the contract in May 1999, several attempts were made without
success, to contact Mr. REUBEN ROSS, from our closed investigation it was
noticed that MR REUBEN ROSS HAD DIED, also every effort made to get in
contact any of his relatives in whose favor the cash value for the redeemed
investment could be made from (FNB) bank, proved abortive.
As the Head of accounts in the Department, I have, with my Director General
(DG) carefully initiated the process of filing a claim for the money with
the hope of having the Fund Transferred abroad for investment on our behalf
since the original benefactor has died, we are hopeful you will agree with
our intention to arrange payment of the claim in your NAME as the next of
KIN to MR REUBEN ROSS.
We require that you let us prepare and file the claim for the money from
this Department indicating your name as the appointed beneficiary of the
FUND. Upon approval of the payment of this claim, you will be paid
(US$38.5M) Thirty Eight Million Five Hundred Thousand United States
Dollars. Furthermore, since the money will be paid directly into a bank
account to be nominated by you, you will have the responsibility to ensure
that we receive our share of the money which I and my colleague have
DISBURSEMENT/SHARING OF THE MONEY.
We will have 70% while you will keep 30% as your personal commission. I
have to assure you however, that we are to make the payment of the Fund
possible provided you are ready to meet with us and give us a very strong.
That my share of the fund will be secured in your Hands and that you would
not betray our trust in making the transfer of the Fund into your Bank
PRIVACY NATURE OF THE BUSINESS.
This is a very safe and risk-free involvement as it is not prone to any
enquiry since we are all active partners and will not want to lose our
positions in Government and the Department. Meanwhile I demand that you
keep this transaction very Private and Confidential in view of our personal
involvements. Full details of the processes for the claim will be provided
as soon as we receive your response AND acceptance to be part of this
I expect the immediate indication of your interest (By Phone or E-mail)
kindly adopt and treat accordingly.