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:
- 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)
- "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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: MARK PETER <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2013 07:45:34 +0000
Subject: GREETINGS TO YOU
My name is Mr Peter Mark, The branch manager of
GHANA COMMERCIAL BANK (G.C.B) Gh Ltd.
I have packaged a financial transaction that will benefit both of us.
As the branch manager of the bank, it is my duty to send financial
reports to my head office in the capital city of Accra-Ghana.
On the course of the last year 2012 end of the year's report, I
discovered that my branch in which I am the manager, made SIX MILLION TWO
HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS
($6,200,000.00), of which my head office is
not aware and will never be aware of it.
I have since then PLACED this fund in an ESCROW CALL ACCOUNT without a
As the branch manager of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to
this Money thus, I am impelled to request for your assistance to
receive this money into your bank account. I intend to part 40% of
this fund to you while 60% shall be saved on my behalf and my
information technology officer.
I do need to assure you that there is no risk involved in this
Business. It is going to be a Bank-to-Bank transfer. All I need from
you is to stand in as the original depositor of this fund. If you
accept this offer, I will appreciate your timely response be informed
that I will be sending you all the in house information's that will
help in you applying for the administrative wire transfer processing
1. Your Address:..................
2. Your Phone/Fax:....................
3. Your Present Country:...............