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:
- 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:
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Osanne" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2011 14:35:43 -0000
Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship
with you. I got your name and contact from the international revenue of your
country. I prayed over it and selected your name among other names due to
its esteeming nature and the recommendations given to me as a reputable and
trust worthy person that I can do business with and by the recommendation ,
I must not hesitate to confide in you for this simple and sincere business
I am Miss.Osanne Maxence,the only Child of late Mr. and Mrs. Maxence. My
father was a very wealthy cocoa dealer in Lome; the economic capital of
Togo, my father was poisoned to death by his business associates on
the first of January 2011 on their outing for the New Year. Celebration.
My mother died when I was a baby and since then my father took me so
special. Before the death of my father on January 2011 in a private hospital here
in Lome he secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he has
the sum. Of 9 million United State Dollars. US (9.m) left in fixed /
suspense account in one of the prime bank here in Lome, that he used my name as
his only Child for the next of Kin in depositing of the fund. He
Also explained to me that it was because of this wealth that he was
poisoned by his business associates.
That I should seek for a foreign partner in a country of my choice where I
will transfer this money and use it for investment purpose such as real
estate management or hotel management .
Dear, I am honourably seeking your assistance in the following ways:
(1) To provide a bank account into which this money would be transferred
(2) To serve as a guardian of this fund since I am only 19years.
(3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my
education and to secure a resident permit in your country.
Moreover, I am willing to offer you 25% of the total sum as compensation
for your effort/ input after the successful transfer of this fund into your
nominated account overseas.
Furthermore, you indicate your options towards assisting me as I believe
that this transaction would be concluded within three (3) days you signify
interest to assist me. Anticipating hearing from you soon.
Thanks and God bless.