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:
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Albert Gaisie" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2016 15:56:26 +0200
Subject: For your consideration
Thanks for your reply
My name is Mr. Albert Gaisie and I am an accountant in contract award
department with Ghana Ministry of Roads and Highways a contract of Road
construction was awarded to one foreign company here in Ghana and actual
the contract was supposed to be done by two companies and the amount that
was mapped out for the contracts was USD13M and we negotiate with one
company that did it and they did it at the rate of UDS 6.5M instead of
USD13M because they have done the job that supposed to be done by two
companies and now the road has been completed and they were paid USD6.5M
Now the reason why I contacted you is that, I want you to stand as the
next foreign contractor so that the balance of the USD6.5M will be paid to
your account, then I will come over to your country for sharing as soon as
the money is transferred to your account.
I want you to know that all the process is going to be legal and I will
provide all the legal backup document to make you one of the foreign
contractors we have here in Ghana to enable us a successful transfer of
Secondly I assure you that this transaction is 100% risk free because all
the legal documents will be taken care of as I have already told you.
Please if you are interested reply to me so that I will tell you the
procedure meanwhile you can check the attached picture of the road