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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: bernard kouadio <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:13:55 +0000
I am sorry for this interruption. I have no other way to reach you
than these ways if the contents here under are contrary to your moral
ethics. Please accept my apology, but please treat with absolute
secret and personal.
With due regards, my name is Mr. Bernard Kouadio, a Banker by
profession in Cote d'ivoire and currently holding the post of
Auditing and Accounting unit of my Bank.
There is a draft account opened in my bank in 1998 by a long-time
client of our bank, a national of your country. He was a business man,
a miner at Agbaou Gold Mine company here in Cote d'ivoire, he was a
geologist and a mining consultant to several other mining
conglomerates operating in, china, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, Pakistan,
Vietnam all in Asia.
Unfortunately him and his wife lost their lives in auto crash leaving
nobody as the representative of his account after his death. The
amount in this account is currently $28,625,370.00. I want to present
you as the representative I will use my position and influence in our
bank to make sure they release this money to you for us to share. As
i await your immediate reply for more details.
Mr. Bernard Kouadio