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:
- 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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "contract award committee" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (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: "Mr. Masilela Sipho" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2019 03:10:02 -0500
Subject: Your Urgent Attention Please..
I know this email will reach you as a surprise, but you need not to worry as I'm using this as only secured and confidential medium available to seek for foreign assistance and partnership in a business transaction which is of a great benefit to both of us. It is with trust that I wish to contact you on this matter concerning transfer of Fifty One Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$51.500, 000.00)
I am Mr. Masilela Sipho ,a member of the Armaments Corporation of South Africa (ARMSCOR) Contract Award Committee. Some time ago, a contract was awarded to a foreign firm in South Africa by my Corporation. The contract was deliberately over invoiced to the tune of US$51.5m. The over-invoicing was a deal to benefit from the project.
The foreign contractor had completed the contract and has been paid. I now want to transfer this money to overseas bank account. I assure you that this transaction is 100% risk free as I have concluded every arrangement to protect the interest of everyone involved, Likewise all modalities for the successful transfer of this fund have been worked out with Ministry of finance and a commercial bank here in South Africa to facilitate the remittance of this fund to overseas bank account.
For your assistance, you will be offered 30% of the total sum as i receive your Positive response I will make a formal application for the transfer of the fund into your overseas bank account. It does not matter whether your company or not does project of this nature described here. The assumption is that your company won the major contract and subcontracted it to other companies. More often than not, big trading companies or firms of unrelated fields win major contracts and subcontract to more specialized firms for execution of such contracts. Do not feel it strange about this business proposal, in Africa that is the means by which big government officials get their money for future hope of their families. Reply to this email via email address: MrMasilelaSipho@vivaldi.net
Mr. Masilela Sipho