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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "dear beloved," (a common phrase found 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: Mohammed Ghanem <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 05 May 2012 15:08:26 +0000
Subject: PLEASE I NEED YOUR HELP
I hope this message reaches you in good health (Amen). Truthfully, I am
very sorry to have browsed your email address from the internet to send you
this mail with out your consent or approval.
Please do understand. To start with, permit me to introduce myself to you,
I am Mohammed Ghanem I am 17yrs of age, from the Republic of Sudan.
My father Mr. Ahmed Ghanem, the one time special adviser to the Minister
of Natural Resources was murdered by an opposition Leader during the
Crisis in my country (Republic of Sudan).
Before the death of my father (Mr. Ahmed Ghanem) during the early stage of
the war of my country, he revealed a secret to me that he deposited $10.5
Million USD as a family funds in a Bank in the Republic of Ghana.He asks me
to leave Sudan and go to Ghana, where I can find a refugee camp and have
peace for my dear live.
Having a meeting with my late father's Ghanaian lawyer, he told me that
all vital documents as regards to the deposit and claim of this funds in
the Bank was handed over to him by my late father.
We went to the Bank for the claim of this funds but we could not make the
claim due to my father's laid down will for me to consult his foreign
business partner before the release of the funds which my father did not
disclose to me before his untimely death.
Now as the next of kin and the only Surviving child in the United Nations
refugee camp (Bujumbura) Ghana, I seek for your humanitarian assistance to
enable me claim this funds in your name as the foreign beneficiary and help
me receive this funds in your country while you invite me over to you for
the sharing and investment in a lucrative production or business in your
country as it is the laid down instruction by my late father for me to
consult his foreign partner who will guide me in the investment in his
country due to Africa political crisis and instability in the African
Mistrust is like an axe on the tree of partnership but since only God
could ordain trust, I will be very grateful to him to build up such a
relationship with you in accordance to his will. I promise you with all
sincerity and a heart full of thankfulness to God that I shall give you all
true love and respect and I would be grateful to God almighty if you will
be kind, understanding and trust worthy enough to help get a better Life.
I promise to give you 30% of the total fund and 15% per-annual in the
investment as your benefit of assisting me a young refugee and a fatherless
child attains a better life. God bless as I expect your reply and thanks in