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:
- "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)
- "is 100% risk-free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Kwadwo Ofosu Asiedu" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 00:33:44 +0300
Subject: Reply me From Mr.Kwadwo Ofosu Asiedu
I am the Auditing and Accounting manager of zenith Bank Limited Accra,
Ghana. Foreign Remittance Department. There is a business I would want
you to champion for me. In my department we discovered an abandoned sum of
(10 Million United State Dollars) in an account that belongs to one of my
uncle who died along with his entire family on in a plane crash some years
Since we got information about his death, we have been expecting his next
of kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot release it
unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased
depositor as indicated in our Banking rules but unfortunately we learnt
that all his supposed next of kin or relation died alongside with him in
the plane crash leaving nobody behind for the claim. It is therefore upon
this discovery that I now decided to make this business proposal to you
and release the money to you as the next of kin or relation to the
deceased for own use and benefit since nobody is coming for it and I don't
want this money to go into the Bank treasury as unclaimed money.
I agree that 35% of this money will be for you as my foreign partner, in
respect to the provision of a foreign account and the important role you
are going to play to make this transaction a huge success 10% will be set
aside for expenses that may be incurred in the course of transferring the
money into your account while 55% would be for me. First I will pay the
sum of $10,000 to open a dollar account on your behalf in my bank and ATM
card will be issue on your name and I will transfer the fund into your ATM
card and the ATM card will be send to you by DHL so you can use it to
withdraw money in any ATM machine in your country or in any bank in your
country, as soon as you receive this card I will come over to your country
so we can use this fund for an investment and I want to invest my own
share of the money in properties.
I will not fail to bring to your knowledge that this transaction is 100%
Risk-free both now and in future besides I have already done all the
underground works that will lead to success before contacting you. You
should not entertain any atom of fear as all required arrangements have
been made for the transfer. Meanwhile, I will use my executive position
and rank in office to ensure that the fund is approved and transferred to
your account without difficulties or problem.
Please contact me as soon as you receive this mail.
Trusting to hear from you soon.
Mr. Kwadwo Ofosu Asiedu