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 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Leyna Schwarz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2013 11:02:08 -0800 (PST)
Subject: My name is Miss Leyna Schwarz, 19yrs old single girl
My name is Miss Leyna Schwarz, 19yrs old single girl,schooling in the United States Of America.
I am the only child/daughter of late Mr/Mrs. Wilfred Schwarz who owns one of the gold mining company companies in Ghana.
My late mother is a Ghanian and that was why my father invested here in Accra, Ghana.
My father was killed by food poisoning, he died few hours upon his arrival from a meeting that was held at Ashante region of Ghana where he wanted to establish another company.
Before my father gave up his last breath, he disclosed to me that he deposited the sum of ($6.5 Million Dollars) in one of the banks in Accra in agreement with the bank that the money will be transferred only to his investment partner in abroad for an investment purposes, and he also has 125kg of Gold kept in one security firm/company also in Accra,Ghana which he intended to ship to abroad for a better buyer under the authorized license of his company.
Few weeks after the death of my father,his company and other commercial and private properties was illegally claimed by his friends who was working with him, now i am left with nothing except the above mentioned two inheritance and this is because they don't have any idea of the deposited money and gold. I am contacting you to assist me to get the funds transferred to your account in your country,to help me ship and sale the gold in your country and to help me come and stay in your country and i will be happy to give you 25% of my inheritance. Please reply me now if you are interested.