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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Koffi Telmar" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2012 14:01:55 +0200
Good day. I Mr Koffi a staff of First bank Pls here in
Ghana, and I would like to confide in you regarding an opportunity
in my office,
I discovered a dormant account in my office, ($17,000,000.00)seventeen
millions Dollars Owned by the Late Ghanaian president Mr Atta Mills.
The fund where been padded in a brief case with
By virtue of my office As the General Manager , this
account is under my direct supervision and I am in the position to
influence its approval and payment to your account.
The payment will only take us seven working days to accomplish,
You are required to confirm the under listed details as soon as
possible for onward payment.
I shall compensate you with 35% of the total cost, 15% for expenses
and 50% for me thanks
Private Telephone Number:
PHOTOCOPY OF YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE OR