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:
- 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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "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)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "PHILLIP KWAME" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 8 Dec 2019 00:41:00 -0000
Subject: PLEASE REPLY WITH URGENCY
My name is Mr.Phillip Kwame. I am working with one of the prime banks in
Accra Ghana. Here in this bank existed a dormant account for many years,
which belong to one of our late foreign customer. The amount in this account
stands at $13,300,000.00 (Thirteen Million Three Hundred Thousand US
I want a foreign account where the bank will transfer this fund. I know you
would be surprised to read this message, especially from someone relatively
unknown to you. But, do not worry yourself so much. This is a genuine, risk
free and legal business transaction. All details shall be sent to you once I
hear from you.
I was very fortunate to come across the deceased customer's security file
during documentation of old and abandoned customers files for an official
re documentation and audit of the year 2019.
If you are really sure of your sincerity, trustworthiness, accountability
and confidentiality over this transaction, reply back to me urgently.
Mr. Phillip Kwame