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:
- "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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "there are practically no risks involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Maria Tokunbo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 17 May 2017 16:06:07 -0700
Subject: Second Letter
Dear Sir ,
My Name is Mrs Maria Tokunbo , Regional Director Of BOA Bank -Abidjan Ci . It is My Pleasure to Contact you as regards this Confidential Fund Transaction . On the course of the 2013 MAGA TRADE Complex Construction Award , An Over INVOICED Sum of [ $ 17,700,000.00 ] which has been kept in a SUSPENSE ACCOUNT without any beneficiary .
As an Employee of the bank, I can not be directly connected to this Fund for Security Reasons, that is why I am contacting you for us to work together as a Foreign partners to receive the said Fund in your account for INVESTMENT in your Country.
The percentage Ratio is thus: 40% for you , 60 % for me and my colleagues .
There are practically no risks involved in this transaction as it is 100% risk free and shall be legally bonded, All I need from you is to stand as the BENEFICIARY to the Deposit . If you are interested in my Proposal , kindly reply for full details and procedures .
Mrs Maria Tokunbo