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:
- 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)
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "consignment " (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)
- "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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2017 04:26:40 -0700
Mr. Jeffery John Garang
Plot 176 Block No.111 G.R.A, Jebel Kujur , Juba ,South Sudan.
Mutual business opportunity.
This message may come to you as a surprise, but be assured it is in good
faith from a family in need. On behalf of my mother, MRS. VERONICA JOHN
GARANG the wife of late vice president of SUDAN, DR JOHN GARANG who happens
to be the former rebel leader of THE SUDAN PEOPLES LIBERATION MOVEMENT (SPLM).
My father died on Saturday 30th of July 2005 on a sabotaged helicopter crash just
three weeks after his inauguration on the 9th of July in our capital
(KHARTOUM may his gentle soul rest in peace. I got your contact through
INTERNATIONAL AFRICAN INFORMATION EXCHANGE though I did not disclose the
nature of the business to them during the process of searching for a
reliable individual/company who can assist my family in transferring the
sum of US$22 Million (Twenty Two Million United States Dollars only in a
private or company account overseas for safe keeping/investment hence I
decide to write you.
Originally the money was mapped out to procure arms and ammunitions for
the SPLM military wing and my husband was solely in charge of organizing
this purchase. Unfortunately, as the news of the peace agreement reached
my father, while he was still in South Africa to make the arms
procurement, he used the opportunity to divert this money for our family
future use. He was fortunate to be in Spain through South Africa when the
news came and he deposited this money in a sealed consignment (CASH) as a
family valuable for security reasons in a sealed metal box containing the
fund with a private fiduciary company in Spain. After depositing the money
he came back and notified my mother and my I about the
money ,he also handed over the documents to us before he was inaugurated
along with other top SPLM officials, the cabinet of the incumbent
president OMAR AL BASHIR has denied any government involvement in masterminding
the death of my father.
As a family, we have agreed to offer you 20% of the total sum of
money for your assistance 5% has been mapped out for any expenses incurred
in the course of this transfer and the remaining 75% will be for my family investment in
your country with your advice.
You have to understand that continuous
existence of my family depends on this fund. That is why I have taken the
responsibility of making this initial contact on behalf of my family. On
acceptance of this proposal you can contact me as I am processing my asylum
status here in Spain, on my direct email: email@example.com
for more details on this situation. Our country has successfully voted in a referendum and had become a
therefore it is now the right time for us to move this fund. Every plan concerning
this transaction has been completed. I am assuring you that this transaction is 100% risk free
but requires absolute trust and confidentiality.
Mr.Jeffery A. JOHN GARANG
For the family.