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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "International Commercial Bank" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 19:31:04 +0800
I sincerely regret any inconvenience reading from an unknown person may cause you.
I write to solicit your assistance in a funds transfer deal involving an amount of US$3,500,000.00
Three Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only).This sum has been stashed out of the
excess profit made in the 2008 and 2009 fiscal years by my branch office of the International Commercial
Bank of Ghana (ICB) which I am a Manager.
An audited balance sheet/report has already been forwarded to my head office and they will never know of
This amount of US$3,500,000.00 has been placed on a Non-Investment Account without a beneficiary.
If you accept to work with me, I will configure your name on our database as holder of the Non-Investment
Thereafter, you will apply to the Head office for the transfer of the referenced sum to your designated bank
account for our investments/sharing. I will guide you on this process.
We will discuss your remuneration when I receive your response.
Reply to my alternative email address: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
+233 54 662 3354
N/B: I HAVE SENT THIS MESSAGE BEFORE AND IS STILL WAITING FOR YOUR RESPONSE.