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:
- 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Selo Ede <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2016 04:58:36 +0100
Greetings to you.
I know there is absolutely going to be a great doubt and distrust in your
heart in respect of this email, coupled with the fact that, so many
miscreants and impostors (scammers) have taken possession of the internet
to facilitate their nefarious deeds, thereby making it extremely difficult
for genuine and legitimate business class persons to get attention and
It has been 10 years now that most of the greedy African Politicians used
our bank to Launder money overseas through the help of their Political
advisers. Most of the funds which they transferred out of the shores of
Africa was gold and oil money that was supposed to have been used to
develop the continent. Their Political advisers always inflated the amounts
before transfer to foreign accounts so I also used the opportunity to
divert part of the funds hence I am aware that there is no official trace
of how much was transferred as all the accounts used for such transfers
were being closed after transfer.
I acted as the Account Officer to most of the politicians and when I
discovered that they were using me to succeed in their greedy act,I also
cleaned some of their banking records from the Bank files and no one cared
to ask me because the money was too much for them to control. They
laundered over 90 Million dollars during the process .As I am sending this
message to you, I was able to divert Fifteen Million dollars(15M) to an
escrow account belonging to no one in the bank. The bank is anxious now to
know who is the beneficiary to the funds because they have made a lot of
profits with the funds. It is more than Eight years now and most of the
politicians are no longer using our bank to transfer funds overseas. The
fifteen Million dollars has been lying waste but I don't want to retire
from the bank without transferring the funds to a foreign account to enable
me share the proceeds with the receiver. The money will be shared 60% for
me and 40% for you .There is no one coming to ask you about the funds
because I secured everything.
For me, I have not stolen the money from anyone because the other people
that took the whole money did not face any problems. but you must keep the
details of the funds secret to avoid leakages as no one in the bank knows
about the funds.You must assure me that everything will be handled
Further details of the transfer will be forwarded to you as soon as i
receive your return mail.
Waiting to hear from you.
Mr. Selo Ede