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:
- 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.
- 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: "Mr. David Livingstone" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2019 21:05:59 -0000
Subject: YOU HAVE RECEIVED US$18.5M (FROM BANK ALREADY)
Dear Deceased Relative/Business Associate,
Following the report of your inheritance payment, the total sum of US$18.5M which you received from the Citibank is not the full Payment. The late Major Constructor (Engr. Jack Farrar Powell) instructed bank to released to you survived next of kin the full contract balance upon demised not part payment as directed by Citibank.
Your full payment is US$28.5Million. Already deceased contract Ministries through Ministry of finance Ghana instructed the Citibank Group since July 2019 to released to you the additional US$10Million withheld by their bank without any delay or question.
Although, I was instructed to reach you on this same email which deceased indicated to contact you his next of kin to avoid wrong payment.
if you have received final balance of US$10Million from Citibank, THEN LET US KNOW without providing information indicated below.
But, If the Citibank Group have not released to you the balance withheld, then provide to me (Deceased Account officer) information listed below, as we withheld your information until your response, confirming you are same person (Relative/Business Associate) whose name and information in deceased account file being survived next of kin.
1) Your Full Name and Address.
2) Your Telephone, Mobile, Office & Home Number.
3) The Copy of Your Passport or Drivers License (for your identification).
4) Your Profession.
5) Your office Position.
The release of your final payment will take part by the Ministry of finance upon your response.
You can only reach me with my alternative email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mr. Patrick Nomo, (Chief Accountant to Deceased).
Accra Ghana,West Africa.