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:
- 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)
- ",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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: "Mr.Christoph Gudemann" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mr.Christoph Gudemann" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2018 09:34:26 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Please I will be glad to work with you
I am Mr. Christoph Gudemann, bank manager. In July 2010, we structured funds for one of my customer by the name of MR. Mansour Abouen a Numbered Time Deposit, valued at $40,500,000.00 (Forty Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) under NON-DISCLOSURE ACT.
The owner of this account is COL. MUMMAR GADDAFI, late Libyan president who died since 2011 during Libya uprising and NATO invasion in Libya. No other person knows this account or anything concerning it as it was structured by his personal Aid, MR. Mansour Abouen who died alongside him, the account has no other beneficiary and no investigation proved to me as well that his family does not know anything about this account and the money involved is Forty Million, Five hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($40,500,000.00). I want us to first transfer US$25 Million from this money into your safe overseas account before the rest can be transferred. I am only contacting you as a foreigner because this money cannot be approved to a local person here, rather, to any foreign account be it personal or investment account.
In accordance with South African Government Law, at the expiration of 8 ( Eight ) years, the money will be reverted back to the ownership of the Government of South African if nobody comes forward for the claim. Consequently, I want to present you as the next of kin or associate to this late customer; hence you are a foreigner like him and the $25,000,000.00 (Twenty Million, Five hundred Thousand United States Dollars) will be transferred first to your Bank account and after the successful transfer of the money will be shared in the ratio 50% for me 50% for you.
There is no risk involved. We cannot release the fund from his account unless someone applies for claim as the next-of kin to the deceased or an associate as indicated in our banking guidelines and Banking ethics of South Africa. It may interest you to know that I can secure from the probate an order of mandamus to present you as the family foreign partner / beneficiary) I need your full co-operation to make this work fine because the management is ready to approve this payment to any foreigner who has correct information of this account, which I will give to you as soon as you indicate your sincerity to co-operate with me, and capability to handle such amount in strict confidence and trust according to my instructions and advice for our mutual benefit because this opportunity may never come again in lives.
If this proposal is acceptable to you, do not take undue advantage of the trust I have bestowed in you. Upon your acceptance of this proposal kindly send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Christoph Gudemann.
NOTE: view this link for me information on this transaction: