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:
- 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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Denis Owusu" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2017 08:47:59 -0800
Subject: Contact me!!
This is a very Confidential Deal Proposal for you if you are Interested.
I am Denis Owusu Senior Accounting Officer of Intercontinental Bank Ltd, Accra Ghana. On November 20th 2015 the Chief Executive Officer of Adona Gold Mining Co. Ltd. located at No. 24 Ofosu Avenue. Tarkwa Ghana made a numbered time (Fixed) Deposit for twelve calendar months, valued at US$8,000,000.00 (Eight Million Dollars only) in my branch.
Upon maturity on November 21st 2016 as his Account Officer, I sent a routine notification to his forwarding address at No. 24 Ofosu Avenue. Tarkwa Ghana but got no reply. After a month, we sent a reminder and finally I discovered that Mr. Charles Dankwa the CEO of Adona Gold Mining Co. Ltd died of Auto Crash in the City of Accra 13th of March 2016.
Further investigations, and all attempts to trace his next of kin was proved abortive/fruitless. Again, I made further investigation and discovered that Mr. Charles Dankwa did not declare any Next of Kin or relations in all his official documents, including his Bank Deposit paperwork in my Bank.
This sum of US$8,000,000.00 is still sitting in my Bank and No one has ever come forward to claim it. According to the International Banking ethics, codes and Laws, at the expiration of 2(Two) years, the money will revert to the Ownership of the Federal Reservation Account for Government use, if nobody applies to claim the fund.
Consequently, I want you to stand as the Next of Kin to Late Mr. Charles Dankwa and Apply for Onward Transfer of the Funds to your Bank Account. This is simple, I will like you to respond immediately with your full contact details so that we will prepare the necessary documents and affidavits that will put you in place as the Next of Kin. The money will be paid into your account for us to share in the ratio of 50% for me and 50% for you in the course of the transaction.
There is no risk at all as all the paperwork for this project will be done and process legally in court on your behalf and with my position as the Account Officer guarantees the successful execution of the Transfer.
I am waiting your urgent reply.
Thanks and regards.
Mr. Denis Owusu