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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Richard Moore <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2013 12:33:05 +0000
Subject: With due respect
With due respect to your person and much sincerity of purpose, I make
this contact with you as I believe that I DO NOT KNOW WHETHER THIS IS
YOUR CORRECT EMAIL ADDRESS OR NOT. you can be of great assistance to
me. My name is MR.RICHARD MOORE from Ouagadougou Republic of BURKINA
FASO, West Africa . Presently i work in the African development Bank
as telex manager. I have been searching for your contact since you
left our country some years ago.
I do not know whether this is your correct email address or not
because I only used your name initials to search for your contact .In
case you are not the person I am supposed to contact, please see this
as a confidential message and do not reveal it to another person but
if you are not the intended receiver, do let me know whether you can
be of assistance regarding my proposal below because it is top secret.
I am about to retire from active Bank service to start a new life but
I am skeptical to reveal this particular secret to a stranger. You
must assure me that everything will be handled confidentially because
we are not going to suffer again in life.
It has been 10 years now that most of the greedy African Politicians
used our bank to launder money overseas through the help of their
Political advisers. Most of the funds which they transferred out of
the shores of Africa were gold and oil money that was supposed to have
been used to develop the continent. Their Political advisers always
inflated the amounts before transfer to foreign accounts so I also
used the opportunity to divert part of the funds hence I am aware that
there is no official trace of how much was transferred as all the
accounts used for such transfers were being closed after transfer.
I acted as the Bank Officer to most of the politicians and when I
discovered that they were using me to succeed in their greedy act; I
also cleaned some of their banking records from the Bank files and no
one cared to ask me because the money was too much for them to
control. They laundered over $5b Dollars during the process .As I am
sending this message to you, I was able to divert Eighteen Million,
Three hundred thousand united states dollars only
US dollars ($18,300,000.00) to an escrow account belonging to no one
in the bank. The bank is anxious now to know who the beneficiary to
is because they have made a lot of profits with the funds.
It is more than Eight years now and most of the politicians are no
longer using our bank to transfer funds overseas. The ($18,300,000.00)
has been laying waste but I don't want to retire from the bank
without transferring the funds to a foreign account to enable me share
the proceeds with the receiver. The money will be shared 60% for me
and 40% for you.
There is no one coming to ask you about the funds because I secured
everything. I am assuring you that this transaction did not involve
difficulties or legal implications as I will be giving you update on what to do.
For me, I have not stolen the money from anyone because the other
people that took the whole money did not face any problems. This is my
chance also to grab my own but you must keep the details of the funds
secret to avoid any leakages as no one in the bank knows about the
Please get back to me if you are interested and capable to handle this
project I shall intimate you on what to do when I hear from your
confirmation and acceptance. If you are capable of being my trusted
associate, do declare your consent to me.
Waiting for your urgent response.