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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "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)
- "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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 05:32:29 -0500 (EST)
by HZDFYD.com MailServer with ESMTP by
mail.xsedu.zj.cn Fri, 18 Feb 2011 10:29:17 GMT
From: "Mrs Augusta Bah"<email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2006 00:29:14 +0200
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2600.0000
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2600.0000
From: Mrs Augusta Bah.
With much regards and good purpose of request, I write to seek for your co-operation and assistance to secure a financial deposit made by my late husband who is now late.
I am MRS Augusta Bah from Sierra Leone.
My husband who is Mr Ibrahim Bah deposited as family valuables this fund in a private Security company here in Johannesburg South Africa.
However, he was the vice president of the Sierra Leone National Mining Corporation, popularly called the Diamond Corporation because of its mineral produce, which is our country's major mineral resource. During the war, with obvious reasons because he could not leave the country due to his top government position in the mining corporation, he had to shift his personal funds out of our country for safekeeping.
At that time he had to arrange for me and my children to leave the country and stay in South Africa to seek asylum pending when the civil war will be over.
Unfortunately he died during the re-election through cardiac arrest.
The war has ended and there has been re-election in my country,. In view of this deposit, I am soliciting for your sincere help to enable me transfer it to a foreign account of yours/company where it will be effectively utilized for investments and project in your country or any other country in overseas.
I would like to know if I could confide in you in this transaction so that we can find a way to go in more details have kept this issue very confidential because I am woman decided to look for a foreign partner because I do not trust people around me over here.
I am willing to give you (25%) of the total fund and 5%for of the total fund for any expenses that will made in this Transaction and also bear in mind that this transaction is 100% risk free.
The deposited amount is (16,400,000.00 dollars) be that I am a woman with two (2) children I thought it wise to entrust this transaction with a foreigner, either individual or company account that can accommodate this fund and suggest a good investment where it could be well utilized.
You can contact my son Adams Bah with the above phone and fax number he will give you more information.
I look forward to your earliest response for more Details.