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:
- ",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)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Peter Kwame Ata" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 4 Aug 2013 03:12:51 +0800
Subject: Mail From Mr.Peter Kwame Ata
My name is Mr. Peter Kwame Ata. I am a banker here in Ghana. I got your
contact from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of International
Trade and Industry. I need your help to transfer the sum of US$7,500,000.00
into your account as my foreign partner.
The money is part of the profits made by our bank last year (i.e. 2012) in
the branch which I am the manager. I have already submitted annual report
for last year to my bank headquarters in Accra - Ghana, and they did not
notice the excess profits. I deposited the US$7,500,000.00 in an escrow
account without a beneficiary (Anonymous), to avoid any trace.
I cannot be directly connected to this fund because I'm still working with
the bank. So, I need your help to transfer this money to your country for
you and i to share. I wish to point out 10% of this money to be shared
among the charity organization, the remaining 90%, you have 40% of this
money as my foreign partner and 50% would be for me. There is no risk
involved because it will be a bank-to-bank transfer. All I need from you is
to stand as my foreign partner and owner of the money to enable you present
a foreign bank account where the money will be transferred to.
The intended transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement
that will protect you and me from any breach of the law. However, if this
business proposal offends your moral ethics, do accept my sincere apology.
If on the contrary you wish to achieve this goal with me, kindly get back
to me with your interest for further explanations and directions.
Mr. Peter Kwame Ata
My Regards to You!