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:
- "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)
- "confidentiality of this transaction" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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)
Fraud email example:
From: "Paul Zuma" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2018 10:30:14 -0800
Subject: INVESTMENT IN YOUR COUNTRY..
ATTN: SIR / MADAM
GOOD DAY AND COMPLIMENTS OF THE SEASON! I AM MR. PAUL ZUMA, I DID A LOT OF SEARCHING, FASTING AND PRAYER BEFORE CHOOSING YOUR CONTACT FROM THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. IT IS WITH TRUST AND SINCERITY THAT I APPROACH YOU FOR ASSISTANCE TO TRANSFER SOME FUND INTO YOUR FOREIGN ACCOUNT.
I AM A TOP GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF MINERALS & ENERGY SOUTH AFRICA, MY RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDES AWARDING AND SIGNING OF CONTRACTS FOR THE PURCHASES OF DRILLING EQUIPMENTS TO DEPARTMENT OF MINERALS & ENERGY BY COMPANIES AND GOVERNMENT FROM DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE WORLD.
THROUGH OVER INVOICED AND BULK PURCHASES THAT WAS MADE ON BEHALF OF THE DEPARTMENT OF MINERALS & ENERGY, MY DEPUTY AND I HAVE AN EXCESS SUM OF US$26.500.000,00 (TWENTY SIX MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS), WHICH WE NOW WANT TO TRANSFER TO ANY TRUSTWORTHY OVERSEAS BANK ACCOUNT FOR INVESTMENTS. THIS MONEY REPRESENTS AN OVERVALUE OF CONTRACTS THAT WAS AWARDED TO A FOREIGN FIRM IN YEAR 2010, DURING THE FIFA WORLD CUP IN SOUTH AFRICA. THE COMPANY THAT EXECUTED THE CONTRACT HAS BEEN DULY PAID THEIR CONTRACT PAYMENT LEAVING BEHIND THE OVER-INVOICED SURPLUS OF US$26.500.000, 00, WHICH WAS OUR ARRANGEMENT.
APPROVALS FOR THE TRANSFER OF THIS FUND HAS BEEN GIVEN BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN RESERVE BANK
(APEX BANK) WHICH MAINTAINS THE DEPARTMENT OF MINERALS & ENERGY TRUST ACCOUNT, THAT MAKES THE TRANSACTION VERY URGENT AND AN ARRANGEMENT HAS BEEN CONCLUDED WITH THE DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN RESERVE BANK TO HAVE THIS FUND TRANSFERRED TO ANY NOMINATED OVERSEAS BANK ACCOUNT WITHIN THE SHORTEST POSSIBLE TIME. SO IF YOU GIVE YOUR CONSENT THIS MONEY WILL BE TRANSFERRED INTO YOUR NOMINATED OVERSEAS BANK ACCOUNT WITHIN (14) FOURTEEN WORKING DAYS FROM THE DATE OF APPLICATION.
I THEREFORE KINDLY REQUEST THAT YOU GRANT ME THE CONSENT TO PRESENT YOU, OR YOUR FIRM AS THE FOREIGN BENEFICIARY OF THIS FUND, FOR THIS MONEY TO BE TRANSFERRED INTO YOUR OVERSEAS BANK ACCOUNT, ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WITH LESS TAX, EVEN IF IT IS A NEWLY OPENED ACCOUNT WITHOUT MONEY IN IT, THIS FUND COULD STILL BE TRANSFERRED INTO IT FOR SAFE KEEPING AND INVESTMENT PURPOSE, AFTERWARD WE WILL TRAVEL TO YOUR COUNTRY FOR THE SHARING OF THE FUND, AND ONWARD INVESTMENT IN YOUR COUNTRY OR ELSE WHERE YOU MIGHT CHOOSE WHERE YOUR EXPERTISE WILL BE REQUIRED FOR A MEANINGFUL INVESTMENT PROJECT.
MY DEPUTY AND I HAVE DECIDED TO GIVE YOU 35% OF THE TOTAL FUND INVOLVED FOR YOUR NOBLE ASSISTANCE, AND 5% HAVE BEEN MAPED ASIDE TO REINBURSE THE CONTINGENT EXPENSES WHICH WILL BE INCURED DURING THE PROCESS OF THIS BUSINESS TRANSACTION, WHILE THE REMAINING 60% BELONGS TO US. DUE TO THE URGENT NATURE OF THIS TRANSACTION YOU ARE REQUESTED TO FORWARD YOUR PRIVATE TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBERS FOR EASY COMMUNICATION THROUGH MY ABOVE CONTACTS. CONTACT ME AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THIS LETTER FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WHAT TO DO NEXT IN OTHER FOR US TO CONCLUDE THIS DEAL IMMEDIATELY.
NOTE: THAT THIS TRANSACTION IS 100% RISK FREE AND AT THE SAME TIME YOU SHOULD ALWAYS MAINTAIN ABSOLUTE CONFIDENTIALITY OF THIS TRANSACTION AT ALL TIME FOR SECURITY REASONS.
Thanks and God Bless. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MR. PAUL ZUMA