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:
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "lome togo" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. George Brown" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2010 02:57:15 +0000
Subject: Crucial letter, reply after reading.
UNCredits Bank LTD,
I am Mr. George Brown, a director with the above bank. I need your attention
and cooperation to execute a confidential fund transfer out of my bank.
The fund is from a dormant account here in my bank and I have removed all
information linking to the deposit that may be implicating. I have changed
all information and made it very private. This is because the account owner
is deceased and has no listed Next of Kin for claim of Inheritance. I can
not handle this alone because we are restricted from operating foreign
accounts as bankers. This should be between the two of us. The amount
involved is US$32.4Million and it will be shraed by the both of us after
deducting all expenses incurred during transaction.
My Questions is:
a) Can you handle this transaction?
b) Can I trust your confidentiality?
As soon as I confirm your interest in this proposal, I will let you know how
we will commence. I will ensure that you do not get into any problem at all
since I am involved as I have planned everything as a director perfectly.
Everything has been planned smoothly.
Reply after reading to indicate your acceptance towards doing this business
with me. Hoping to hear from you soon.
Mr. George Brown