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:
- "dear friend" (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)
- ",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 are practically no risks 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "williams eche" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 2009 13:46:46 -0800
Subject: From Williams Eche
My name is Williams Eche . I am a Regional Manager in my country Ghana . I write you this proposal in good faith.
I am a man of peace, and have sincere respect for human feelings and opinions. I have packaged a financial transaction that will benefit you and I
As the Regional Manager of Bank here in my country Ghana, it is my duty to send in a financial report to my head office in the capital city, Accra at the end of each business year. On the course of last year, 2008 business report, I discovered that the branch in which I am the Manager made 5.5million United States Dollars ($5,500,000.00) which my head office is not aware of and will never be aware of. I have placed this funds on what we call Escrow call account with no beneficiary yet . As an officer of this bank I cannot be directly connected to this money, so my aim of contacting you is to assist me receive this money in your bank account and get 30% of the total funds as commission.
There are practically no risks involved, the transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law, it will be simply a bank-to-bank transfer, and all I need from you is to stand claim as the original depositor of these funds who made the deposit with my branch so that my head office can order the transfer to your designated bank account under few working days.
If you accept to work with me I will appreciate it very much as you are the first and the only person I am contacting for this transaction.
you can contact me so that we can go over the details., Thank you in advance and may God bless you and your
family , with regards ,