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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (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)
- "top secret" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Emma Johyn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2017 07:53:20 -0400
Subject: whether this is your correct email address or not
My Name is Mr Emmanuel John, I have been searching for your
contact since you left our country some years ago .I do not know
whether this is your correct email address or not because I only used
your name initials to search for your contact in the internet .In case
you are not the person I am supposed to contact,
please see this as a confidential message and do not reveal it to
another person but if you are not the intended receiver, do let me
know whether you can be of assistance regarding my proposal below
because it is top secret.
I am still working with the central bank where we meet during your
official visit to my country.I am about to retire from active Bank
service to start a new life but I am sceptical to reveal this
particular secret to a stranger .You must assure me that everything will
be handled confidentially because we are not going to suffer again in
It has been 10 years now that most of the greedy Politicians
used our bank to Launder money overseas through the help of their
Political advisers. Most of the funds which they transferred out of
the shores of Africa was old and oil money that was supposed to have
been used to develop the continent. Their Political advisers always
inflated the amounts before transfer to foreign accounts so I also
used the opportunity to divert part of the funds hence I am aware that
there is no official trace of how much was transferred as all the
accounts used for such transfers were being closed after transfer,I
acted as the bank Officer to most of the politicians and when I
discovered that they were using me to succeed in their greedy act,
I also cleaned some of their banking records from the Bank files and
no one cared to ask me because the money was too much for them to
control. They laundered over $2bn during the process .As I am sending
this message to you, I was able to divert more than Fifty Million
Dollars ($50m) to an escrow account belonging to no one in the bank.
The bank is anxious now to know who is the beneficiary to the funds
because they have made a lot of profits with the funds.
It is more than Eight years now and most of the politicians are no
longer using our bank to transfer funds overseas. The $50M has been
lying waste but I don't want to retire from the bank without
transferring the funds to a foreign account to enable me share the
proceeds with the receiver. The money will be shared 60% for me and
40% for you.
There is no one coming to ask you about the funds because I secured
everything.I only want you to ass is me by providing a viable bank
account where the funds can be transferred. You are not to face any
difficulties or legal implications as I am going to handle the
transfer personally. If you are capable of receiving the funds, do let
me know immediately to enable me give you detailed information on what
For me, I have not stolen the money from everyone because the other people
that took the whole money did not face any problems. This is my chance
also to grab my own but you must keep the details of the funds secret
to avoid leakages as no one in the bank knows about the funds.
Please supply me the following:
Your current contact address and Telephone Numbers. Whether you will
be able to come down again to my country to meet me before the
commencement of the transfer
I shall intimate you on what to do when I get your confirmation and
acceptance. If you are capable of being my trusted associate, do
declare your consent to me. PLS REPLY ME HERE,,email@example.com
Mr Emmanuel John