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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "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)
- "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)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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: "Hon. Ato Forson" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2016 20:17:09 +0700
Subject: I NEED YOUR HONEST HELP
After my unofficial inquiry from the foreign trade office of the chambers of commence & industry here, Hence I decided to contact you though I did not disclose this to anyone else because of the discreet nature of this project. I decided to reach you directly to solicit for your assistance and guidelines in making a business investment and transfer of US$39,300,000.00 (Thirty Nine million Three Hundred thousand United States Dollars) to your country within the next Seven (7) working days.
Please I must plead for your confidence in this Project. I am the Deputy Minister with the Ministry of Finance & Economic planning (MOFEP), Republic of Ghana. I am currently in need of a silent foreign partner whose identity we can use to move this sum of money. But at this moment, I am constrained to issue more details about this profitable business investment until I get your response by email or telephone as indicated below. please if you can take out a moment of your very busy schedule today to respond back to this mutual benefit business proposal, It will be highly appreciated. Kindly include the followings in your response for more details. i) Name, ii) Address, iii) Age, iv) Sex, v) Occupation, vi) Company name and address and, vii) Mobile Telephone number.
This fund accrued legitimately to us as commission from foreign contracts, through our private connections. The fund is presently waiting to be remitted from the bank here in Ghana to any overseas beneficiary confirmed by us as associate/receiver. By virtue of my position as a civil servant in my country, I cannot acquire this money in my name. Because as a high placed civil servant, I am not allowed by the civil service code of conduct to own or operate bank accounts outside of our shores. On the other hand, it is not safe for me to keep the money here due to unstable political environment. I have been propel to look for an overseas silent partner who could work with me to facilitate transfer of this fund for our mutual benefit, hence the reason for this email. My proposal is that after you receive the funds, it would be shared as follows: (1) 30% to you as commission for your co-operation and assistance in facilitating the transfer, while the remaining 70% belongs to me. Yo
u will be free to take out your
However, this is not optional, and if it is not convenient for you to further assist me with investing the money, we can end our cooperation after you make available to me my part of the money. The transaction, although discreet, is legitimate and the money will be transferred successfully with all necessary back-up official documents showing the legitimate source/origin of fund. The transfer will be effected as soon as we reach an agreement and you furnish me with a suitable response indicating your interest for processing the transfer. I plead with you on one issue, whether you are interested or not, kindly do not expose this information to any one else for security reasons. I confirm that the transaction is legitimate and without any risks either to me or yourself. I wait your response immediately by returning this mail through my secure email address. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hon. Ato Forson