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:
- "hundred thousand us 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: "alex" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2013 04:14:24 +0100
Subject: Good Day,
I am Alexandra Tagro 22 years old from Ivory Coast's, the daughter of Late Desire Tagro. My late father was the former interior minister of Ivory Coast, he died a day after he was arrested during the final collapse of former President Laurent Gbagbo's government. You can read more about my father in the link below.
There is this huge amount of US$ 20.2 million (TWENTY MILLION TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS) which my late father Deposited for me in one of the leading Bank in Ghana before he was arrested and killed by pro-Ouattara forces.
Now I have decided to invest these money in your country or anywhere save enough for security and political reasons. I want you to help me claim and transfer this fund from the Bank and Transfer it into your personal account or any account of your choice in your country for investment purposes on profitable ventures. You will also help me in getting my papers to travel to your country and continue my education there, while you help me invest my money until I finish my education.
Since the management of the bank advice that I should solicit for an individual or corporate organization to claim the Fund for me as they cannot release
it directly to me due to my refugee status in Ghana.
Conclusively I wish you send me a reply immediately you receive this proposal on my private Email: for more details.