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.
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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:
- "hundred thousand us 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.
- 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: "Mr. anders johansson " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2017 15:43:52 +0900
Subject: Your Confirmation Needed (SINCE OUR INVITATION LETTER WAS DELIVERED
TO YOUR HOME)
Dear Sir/Relative, (Madam)
Your name, address including your email was found in deceased file in
Citibank N.A Ghana, while we confirmed Late Customer (ENGR. JACK FARRAR
POWELL) before he died made you next of kin to his account, which stated
upon demised you shall inherit account balance, since deceased have paid
all taxes related to the release of his funds to you.
The Citibank N.A Ghana has giving me five (5) working days to invite you
deceased next of kin or relative mentioned for this payment, since I was
deceased account officer, otherwise Citibank will confiscate the
US$128.5M (One Hundred and Twenty-Eight Million, Five Hundred Thousand
US Dollars) which deceased left in your favor, as abandoned funds under
instruction of Ghanaian Parliament.
Already several official letters were sent to your address through
Citibank Headquarter, since no response from you, which the Bank
instructed me to reach you privately on this same Email address which
deceased indicated to reach his relative/next of kin.
I withheld your name and Deceased details until your response to my mail
with information below, confirming you are same Relative/Business
Partner, whose name and contacts appeared in deceased account file to
avoid wrong payment.
1) Your Full Name and Address.
2) Your Telephone, Mobile, Office & Home Number.
3) The Copy of Your ID Card (Passport or Driverâs License) for
The Citibank has instructed Ministry of finance to release above funds
to you, upon your response confirming the same name which deceased
mentioned in your International Passport/Driver License to avoid wrong
Like I said, details will be given to you, including deceased documents
which Citibank/Parliament of Ghana shall request for your proper
identification to release above funds to you.
Kindly contact me through my alternative email (email@example.com).
Please kindly use âDECEASED NEXT OF KINâ as subject for your response to
this mail, so I can identify you to avoid wrong payment.
Mr. Johannes Hendricks, (Retired Banker) I am South African Citizen, and
I was Account Officer to ENGR. POWELL for 9years before he died.