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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "consignment " (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Smith Kabila" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Smith Kabila" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2019 19:52:18 -0800
Subject: Hello 12/27/2019 7:53:18 PM
My name is Smith Kabila from Sudan in Africa, I am 16yrs of age(Male), but i am presently staying in Ghana. My late father Michael Kabila was the owner of the diamond-mining co-operation in Sudan and also has a branch office in Ghana. As a result of this, he was killed by the rebels in my country because of the political unrest.
Before his death, he deposited a consignment that contained, AU Gold Dust, which quantity is 950kg and some amount of money Millions of dollars is in my name with a security company here in Accra-Ghana which is my motherland, the deposit was made in my name and should be released to me once i am 16yrs, but i must present a foreign investor/partner who can stand as my guardian to help me invest the money in any meaningful/lucrative business and also help me come over to further my education in your country.
Just two weeks ago the security company was able to contact me and said my uncles reached out to them and trying to make claim but was declined because it was deposited in my name as the next of kin. please my uncle is a wicked man, as the only child of my parents and they are trying to take advantage of me because my mom and dad got separated while i was very young. Please i need your help