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.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
Date: 28 Sep 2017 14:43:02 -0300
Subject: Please note: This is a private conversation meant to be delivered to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: This is a private conversation meant to be delivered
Hello, this is Mr. Denis Tetteh, a banker by profession,
currently holding the post of Auditing and Accounting Manager for
Ecobank Ghana Ltd. And since this is a private conversation I
have decided to write directly to your email at
email@example.com to discuss with you about a deceased client of
mine who died as a result of a heart-related condition in March
12th 2005 due to the death of all the members of his family in
the tsunami disaster on the 26th December 2004 in Sumatra
My late client deposited Eight-million-three-hundred-thousand-
dollars lodged in the bank here in Ghana and now the fund details
are overdue. This bank has issued me a notice to contact the next
of kin (of which there's none), or the account will be
My proposition to you is to seek your consent to present you as
the next-of-kin and beneficiary to my late client, so that the
proceeds of this account can be paid to you. Then we can share
the amount on a mutually agreed-upon percentage. All legal
documents to back up your claim as my client's next-of-kin will
be provided. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable
us see this transaction through.
I must use this opportunity to implore you to exercise your
utmost indulgence to keep this matter extraordinarily
confidential, whatever your decision, while I await your prompt
Sincerely and respectfully yours,
Mr. Denis Tetteh
https://ecobank.com/ Ecobank Brokerage Services LLC
Best ISAs, SIPPs and Funds - Ecobank Continental Investment