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:
- 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:
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united states 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)
- "there is no risk 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.
- 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: "Patric Ezeh" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2018 04:27:39 -0700
Subject: My Dear
Good Day! I am Mr. Patirck Ezeh, from Ghana in West Africa. I am a banker by profession. I got your contact information from the on-line data base, and I decided to contact you for a mutual business partnership. This transaction is urgent and that is why I am contacting you through this medium. I am sorry bothering you, but surely this is a lifetime opportunity that both of us cannot afford to loose. I need your assistance as my foreign investment partner to transfer a total amount of $12,000,000.00 (Twelve Million United States Dollars) into your Bank Account over there in your Country. This amount of money is part of the excess profits made by my Bank in last years (2017) transactions in the branch where I am the Auditing Manager. I have set aside this amount for personal investment. I have already submitted my annual reports for last year's transactions to the Board of Directors / management of my Bank here in Accra - Ghana, and nobody is aware of the excess profits, which I have secretly safeguarded in
However, due to my sensitive position here in my Bank, I cannot be directly connected to this fund because I am still working with the bank, so that is exactly why I am seeking your help to assist me in moving this money out my Country into a private bank account (your Bank Account) over there in your country for you and me to share. I also wish to inform you that I have mapped-out plans to share 10% of this money to some charity organizations, while the remaining 90% would be shared by me and you. You will receive 40% of the total amount as your own share for the vital role that you will play as my foreign partner, while 50% would be for me. This is my plan which is subject to negotiation if you wish. This deal would be achievable successfully within 7 working days from now. Everything would be handled and perfected legally from over here, so there is no risk involved.
My exact intention is to invest my own share of the money in any good business venture over there in your own Country. There is absolutely no risk involved in this deal because all arrangements would be perfected by me from over here in Ghana, while your own duty would be to stand as my partner to receive the funds on my behalf. I will file all the necessary documentations that would put your own name as the beneficiary of the money to enable you receives the funds on my behalf for our mutual benefit.
Please kindly get back to me to indicate your interest for further explanations. Please reply urgently with your full names, your age, your occupation, your contact address and your contact telephone numbers. All required information should be forwarded to my private email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanking you in advance for your anticipated response and cooperation.