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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: musa usman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 20:15:15 +0000 (UTC)
Dear Good Friend,
My name is Mr. Musa Usman, a banker and manager of Audit & Accounts department in our Financial Bank Togo. I am the account officer to late Mr. Philip John, our Bank customer who was involved in a car accident on the 31st of October 2007, my client and his wife and Daughter were involved in a car accident along Kara-Sokode expressway while arriving from Holiday to Lome.
As his account officer, hearing the report of his death, I made many inquiries to trace the extended family relatives to come forward to claim their inheritance but my efforts were aborted. It was during one of my research I came across your email address and now decided to appoint you as the next of kin in order to claim the deposit with our bank which is at a summary of US$9.5 million (Nine Million five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars).
I am giving you this vital and confidential information in order to make the deal with you and get the money into your bank as the recipient and beneficiary next of kin since you are a foreigner; and that gives you an advantage on coming into this matter. If you are ready to cooperate with me to get this fund just get back to me
To enable me introduce you to the bank as the new beneficiary/ recipient of the funds. If you can handle this with me, on our realization of this deal and percentage ratio, you will be entitled to have 30% of the total sum while I and my colleagues will have 70%. I am waiting for your favourable response so that I will give you an
application letter for claim which you will forward to the bank. You can write me through my private email address which is:(email@example.com) for urgent communication.
Thanking you for your anticipated cooperation
Mr. Musa Usman