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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "very confidential" (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)
- "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: il mz <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2022 00:00:12 +0000
Subject: STRICTLY PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL
Mr. Jacob S Ntuli
Tel: +27 640 571 034
STRICTLY PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL
I am Mr. Jacob S Ntuli, Member Project Implementation with South African Anglo-Gold Ashanti in Johannesburg and a member of the Contract Tenders Board (CTB) of the above corporation.
Your esteemed address was reliably introduced to me at the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry in my search for a reliable individual/company who can handle a strictly confidential transaction, which involves the transfer of a reasonable sum of money to a foreign account. The amount of money involved is US$50, 000, 000, 00 (FIFTY MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS) only.
This money has already been extracted from various contracts awarded by this corporation, as a result of over-invoicing masterminded by the concerned officials involved, this has been drafted to represent the final payment for a contract that has been executed to this corporation some years back. The money is now floating in the suspense account of the South Africa Reserve Bank awaiting claim by any foreign partner which status we now want you to resume.
Now is the optimum period to consummate this fund, following the presidential directive to all ministries to settle all outstanding debts owed to both local and foreign contractors? In my last meeting with the Officials involved, it was unanimously agreed that 30% of the total sum will be given to you, 60% will be for us while 10% will be used to reimburse the expenses that will be incurred in the processing of this transfer.
I assure you that this transaction is 100% risk free as we 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 Department of Finance and the South Africa Reserve Bank to facilitate the remittance of this fund to your designated account within 72 hours after your claim has been approved.
However, I would want to believe that you are honest enough and will not raise any misgiving attitude in any aspect of the transaction, more importantly, that you will keep this transaction very confidential so as not to tarnish the confidence reposed on these officials by the Government of South Africa. If this proposal is of interest to you, then kindly contact me with above telephone number first before sending email. Please treat this information as confidential.
Mr. Jacob S Ntuli.