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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "might come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- mr. james nobles tel: +27- 781763045 email: firstname.lastname@example.org = dear sir/madam, this proposal might come to you as a surprise, (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. James Nobles"<email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2016 00:30:07 +0000
Subject: OFFICIAL LETTER 19/03/2016
Mr. James Nobles Tel: +27- 781763045 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org =
Dear Sir/Madam, This proposal might come to you as a surprise, since=
it is from someone you do not know or have never seen before, but based on=
FAITH, I had to contact you believing that you are a reputable person and =
as such you cannot run away with my own share of the money the conclusion o=
f the transaction. I am Mr. James Nobles the director and coordinator o=
f Finance and Contract Department of the Minerals and Energy with South Afr=
ican Government. The crux of this letter is that the finance / contract dep=
artment of the DME deliberately over-inflated the contract values of variou=
s contract awarded. In the course of disbursement of the original contract =
value, my office was able to track down the sum of US$34 Million Dollars as=
the over invoiced sum. This money is now floating in the DME domiciliary a=
ccount with the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). I and my colleagues=
now want to quickly transfer this fund to a safe nominated foreign account=
for possible investment abroad. We are not allowed as a matter of governme=
nt policy to operate any foreign account because of our status as civil / p=
ublic servants. Hence the needs to solicit for a partner abroad to enable u=
s transfer this money into your foreign bank account. Upon your acceptance =
of this proposal, we have also agreed on a sharing ratio of; 1. 25% for=
you as the account owner 2. 70% for I and my colleagues 3. 5% will be se=
t aside to defray all incidental expenses both locally and internationally =
during the course of this transaction, which will be shared at the end of t=
he transaction according to each parties input. Furthermore, we shall=
be coming over to your country when the money is finally in your account a=
nd we shall be relying on your advice as regards to investment of our share=
. Be informed that this business is genuine and 100% safe considering the h=
igh powered government officials involved. Send to my E-mail address th=
e following information: ? Your Full names, company name and add=
ress. ? Your Telephone and fax number for effective communication =
This is to effect the swift transfer of this fund into your account in l=
ess than 14 working days. Contact me strictly via my email address or my pr=
ivate phone number, while looking forward to a healthy business relationshi=
p with you. Yours Faithfully, Mr. James Nobles E-Mail: jamesnob=