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 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: Emmanuel Kofi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2015 20:39:22 +0700
Subject: ARE YOU =?UTF-8?Q?INTERESTED=3F?=
Please I apologize using this medium to reach you; I am Engineer
Emmanuel Kofi, Assistant Director of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority
(GCAA), and also the chairman of the in-house committee that vetted the
various bids submitted by various contracting firms for the
expansion/renovation project of all the International Airports in the
Republic of Ghana.
The eventual winners of the bid and executors of the projects had a
secret pact with me, to inflate the contract/project cost to the tune of
US$28.5 Million Dollars (Twenty Eight Million Five Hundred United State
Dollars) as my gratification for assisting them win the right of
execution of these contracts/projects. The contractor had since
completed the contract, and job-completion certificate duly awarded to
them. Furthermore, their payment has also been fully made to them
leaving behind the sum of US$28.5 Million Dollars meant for my
gratification which was packaged as family treasures and deposited in
one of the security companies here in my country Ghana with a fictitious
name to avoid trace.
The problem now is that, as a senior civil servant, I declare my assets
annually which I, in turn submit to the civil service commission and the
state security service for investigation and clearance. As such, there
is no-way that I can defend the US$28.5 Million Dollars (Twenty Eight
Million Five Hundred United State Dollars) as an addition to my assets
for the year without implicating myself and destroying my impeccable
records achieved over the years. Above all, the civil service âActâ
prohibits every civil servant in my country from operating a foreign
account while still in active public service. Also, I cannot rely on my
fellow Ghanaian to assist me in claiming this fund without exposing
myself, and losing claim of the fund.
Therefore, I need your assistance as a foreigner to cooperate with me
and front yourself as next of kin to the depositor of these luggageâs
and claim them from the security company where they are deposited and
take 40% as your reward plus cost.
Should you be interested, kindly indicate by forwarding to me the below
Full Name: ............................
Contact Address: ..................
Direct Telephone Number: .................
Occupation and Position: ...................
Marriage Status: .................................
A copy of your I.D: ...........................
I shall provide you with more details and relevant documents as soon as
I receive the above requested information from you.
However, I want to emphasize here that this deal is free from any form
of risk from both parties as great care has been exercised in perfecting
it, and therefore, I enjoin you to approach it with an open mind and
without any fear whatsoever. As a deal, I make haste to advise that you
should be private about it.
PLEASE CHANNEL ALL CORRESPONDENCES TO: email@example.com
Engineer Emmanuel Kofi.