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:
- "is 100% risk-free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ibrahima Gueye" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2014 05:14:45 -0700
Subject: Bank Transaction (Pls treat as urgent)26/9/2014
From: Mr. Ibrahima Gueye
Director of Finance
Administration and Finance
Subject: Requesting your cooperation to transfer Thirty Million United Sta=
tes dollars investment funds to your bank account.
I am the Director of Finance of the ECOWAS Commission, I got your contact t=
hrough the West African Free Trade Database internet portal in my search of=
a reliable and trustworthy foreign partner and I hope we can work closely =
together if we can reach a mutual agreement between us.
I am seeking your sincere cooperation to move the aforementioned funds to y=
our country for private investment because the ECOWAS Public Service Code o=
f Conduct Bureau highly prohibits any public officeholder from operating a =
foreign bank account or private investment while in active service. By virt=
ue of my status as the Director of Finance, I would sincerely wish to confi=
dentially establish an investment partnership with you prior to my retireme=
nt from public service by mid 2015.
On completion of the transfer of this fund to your private bank account, yo=
u will be entitled to deduct 25% of the total fund to compensate your effor=
ts and 5% will cover all expense including tax, while the remaining 70% wil=
l be released personally to me on retirement as my private investment capit=
al subsequent to my arrival to your country.
We shall discuss further details as soon as I receive your reply, is rest a=
ssured that this transaction is 100% risk-free.The funds will be transferre=
d without any breach of international financial law.
Mr. Ibrahima Gueye.