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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- 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: "Dr Usman Hassan." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 08:01:43 -0500
Subject: RE: THE REASON WHY YOU HAVE NOT SUCCEEDED IN RECEIVING YOUR FUND.
From the Desk of Dr Usman Hassan.
Chairman payment verification Panel.
RE: THE REASON WHY YOU HAVE NOT SUCCEEDED IN RECEIVING YOUR FUND.
After waiting to hear from you or your partners for a long time now,
I decided to make this direct approach to you as my new resolution in
other not to let it be if I have anything in mind against you. I do
not know if you have asked yourself why each time the release of this
fund is approved, all of a sudden, the payment will be stopped or one
problem or the other will come up, if you have not asked this question
or you do not know, this is an opportunity for me to tell you.
Some time ago, your friends, I mean those people that introduced you
to the project approached me through my dear beloved wife who work
with the Federal Ministry of Finance and requested me to assist them
conclude a money transfer deal they had with you. They requested me to
assist them by removing the original contractor?s name, company?s name
and bank particulars from our paying bank now Bank of Ghana (BOG)
vetting computer and replacing them with your name and bank details in
order to make you appear as the rightful beneficiary of this fund.
I agreed on condition that they will pay me US$100,000.00 as soon as
your name appears as the beneficiary. I did as agreed and demanded to
be paid, but your friends started telling me stories, they even told
me you promised to send money to me.
Do you know that up till now, I have not received a single cent from
them and have not set my eyes on any of them? Based on their attitude,
I decided to stop the fund release movement because I cannot be denied
of my right in my own office considering the risk as it might affect
my job. Secondly, I know the source of the funds that you did not
execute any contract, although I am the only person privileged to know
this information and it is a fact. Why I am making this clear to you
is that I can see that you are still making efforts in order to
conclude this project. Now I am ready to forget the past.
I do not need the US$100.000.00 any longer from you but a good
compensation from your mind. I need your assurance that those
colleagues will be totally kept out of this transaction. I know that
none of them is aware of my new approach to you. Stop spending your
money unnecessarily to any Bank Officers both here in Africa and
overseas because you will not receive this money without my hand in
it. I personally did the work at the beginning and only I can perform
Finally, I need your promise that no official of that BANK will be
aware of my involvement in this regard because of my position. Now
re-assure me that you will be willing to compensate me and that you
will assist my wife to establish a foreign account in your country
where my compensation will be lodged. Also ATT FUND RELEASE APPROVAL
DOCUMENTS will be sent to you for endorsement after which I will remit
the money within few days.
I am a man of my word. If you are ready to conclude this business
with me, kindly contact me on so that we can have a chat over this
issue once and for all. But if the reverse is the case, do not bother
yourself to reach me and forget about this money.
Dr Usman Hassan.
Chairman payment verification Panel.