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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Diani Kabori <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 22:26:15 +0000
Subject: YOUR CO-OPERATION NEEDED PLEASE!
Greetings to you and your family, I am the manager of bill
and exchange in THE BANK, I have a business of 5.5 Million
United State Dollars to be transfer to your account for
investment in your country, if you are ready to assist me
get back to me, I will give you full details on how the fund
will be transfer to you.
Be rest assured that
everything will be handled
confidentially because, this is a great opportunity we
cannot afford to miss, as it will make our family profit a
It has been 7 years ago, 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.
Political advisers always inflated the amounts before
transfer to foreign accounts so I also used the opportunity
to divert part of the fund worth five million five hundred
united state dollars I told you about and I am aware that
there is no official trace of how much was transferred as
all the accounts used for such transfers of fund at that
particle time were closed after transfer.
I am the account 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 for the money
was too much for them to control, as I am sending this
message to you, I was able to divert five point five
Millions Dollars ($5.5M) which is in an escrow transit
account belonging to no one in the bank, and now my bank is
very anxious to know the real beneficiary of the funds
for they have made a lot of profits with the fund.
It has been seven years ago and most of the politicians are
no longer in power again and they don't use our bank to
overseas anymore since their tenure had
The $5.5 Million United State Dollars has been lying in the
bank as unclaimed fund and I will soon retire from the bank
immediately the fund is transfer into your account over
Immediately the fund has been successfully transfer into
your account I will come to your country for the sharing of
the fund, the fund will be shared 50% for me and 40% for
you, and the other 10% for the orphanages home and poor with
Please know that there is no one that is going to question
you about the fund if you will comply with me and follow my
instruction which will help us a lot to achieve this goal
for everything is well secured.
Please note that if you must get in touch with me then you
must reply me back through my private box email@example.com and
please if you are not interested do not waste your time to
reply kindly delete my message from your box ok.
Waiting to hear from you soon.