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:
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Eric Johnson Appiah" <email@example.com>
Date: 23 May 2018 03:47:41 -0700
Subject: Re: Investment
Good Day! I am Mr. Eric Johnson Appiah, 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 yearâs (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 a confidential escrow account without any
beneficiary, and this is deliberately done just to avoid any
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
Eric Johnson Appiah.