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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Abdel william <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2013 19:32:45 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Greeting From Mr Abdel William
Good Day ,
is Mr. Abdel William I am the manager of Access bank of
Ghana Kumasi branch in the Ashanti region of Ghana. I got your contact
when I was searching for an overseas partner to assist me.
write you this Letter in good faith I am 45 years old married with two
lovely kids. I have packaged a transaction that will benefit you and I
as the branch manager of the Agricultural Development Bank; it is my
duty to send a report to my head office in the capital city of (Accra
Ghana) at the end of each year business.
On the course of
last two years 2008 business report, I discovered that my branch in
which I am the manager made six million united state dollars which my
head office are not aware of and will never be aware of it.
have deposited this fund on what we call (escrow) call account with no
beneficiary. As the branch
manager of this bank I cannot be directly connected to this money, so
my contacting you to this transaction is to assist me receive this fund
in your bank account and get 30% of the total fund as your own share.
you agree to assist me, I will immediately program your full
information in the computer system here in my own branch as an account
owner in Access Bank of Ghana. It will be a
bank-to-bank transfer, and all I need from you is to stand and claim as
the original depositor of these fund who made the deposit in my branch
so that my head office will immediately order the transfer to your
designated bank account.
If you accept to work with me I will appreciate it very much.
Thank you in advance as you co-operates with me and God bless you.
Mr. Abdel William