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:
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "contract award committee" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2018 14:29:02 +0100
Subject: urgent business deal..
Eskom republic of South Africa
Good day to you...
I know that this proposal may come to you as a surprise, especially having=
to come from someone you have not met before, but i would like you to co-o=
perate with me so that this ($9,000,000.00) Nine million united states doll=
ars will be released and transferred into your account.
My name is Mr. David Oosthuizen the chairman of contract award committee o=
f Eskom pty ltd South Africa. It is my profound intention to contact you fo=
r this very important and highly confidential transaction for the transfer =
of (us$9,000,000.00) Nine million United States dollars into your account. =
The (us$9,000,000.00) Nine million United States dollars was the overestima=
ted balance from the contract that was awarded to both foreign and local co=
ntractors. The real contract value was (us$120 000, 000. 00) One hundred an=
d twenty million united states dollars but it was over estimated to (us$129=
, 000, 000, 00) One hundred and twenty-nine million United States dollars.
The contract has been successfully executed by the contractors and the con=
tract sum of (us$120 000, 000, 00) One hundred and twenty million united st=
ates dollars has been paid to them in the year 2012, leaving our over estim=
ated balance of (us$9,000,000) Nine million united states dollars still pen=
ding at the bank. right now, we are left with this over estimated balance o=
f (us$9,000,000.00) Nine million united states dollars which is still float=
ing at the escrow account in the south African reserve bank, awaiting final=
payment to any reliable foreign bank account you may provide am therefore =
asking you to co-operate with me so that the fund will be released and tran=
sferred into your account. If you are interested in this my proposal please=
reply me so that we can talk about the percentage before we proceed.
however, when the fund is transferred into your account over there, I shal=
l obtain visa and travel with my family over there for my own share of this=
money in this regard would like you to send me the following information's=
through the email address below for security reasons.
Your name: ------------
Your occupation: ----------
Your address: ----------
Your private phone / fax numbers: --------
Mr. David Oosthuizen