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:
- "monrovia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "liberia" (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: "Favour Mutah" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2011 23:44:37 +1100 (EST)
Subject: From Mr Favour Mutah
From Mr Favour Mutah
Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship
with you, please i need a trust-worthy person that will help me to
transfer this money.
My Name is Mr Favour Mutah the only Son of Mr and Mrs Mutah Ubah i am 20
year old My father was a very wealthy Gold Merchant in Monrovia the Gold
Capital of republic of Liberia all in west africa.
Before the death of my father on 14th September 2008 my father told me
that hedeposited sum (USD $15 MILLION FIFTEEN MILLION U.S DOLLARS ) in a
bank here in Cote Divoire i want you to help me to transfer the money to
He also made me understand that it was because of this money he was
poisoned byhis business associates while on a business trip with them and
he instructed me to look for a foreign partner who will help me transfer
this money out of this Cote Divoire and invest it for me, my purpose of
contacting you is for you to help transfer this money to your country
before this people who kill my father will kill me too
Im now hiding in a local place here and I will compensate you with 20% of
this money if you help me to transfer the money to your account l hope you
will not betray the trust i have on you because this money is my only hope
in this life and you will also help me to come over to your country to
continue my education while you will invest my own share of the money for
I can assure you there is No Risk involve the money is an inheritance from
my late father.
I am waiting to hear from you.