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:
- 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:
- ",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)
- "lome togo" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Debo Etirawe <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2020 18:48:21 +0200
Subject: Good day to you,kindly awaits your reply.
Greetings From Debo Etirawe
With all due respect, I want you to read my letter with a positive
mind and help me. I am Debo Etirawe The only Child of late Mr.and
Mrs.Etirawe, My Late father was a very wealthy cocoa dealer in Lome
Republiic of Togo before he was poisoned to death by his business
my mother died when she was given birth to me, since then my father
took me so special because I am motherless. Before the death of my
father on 2nd June 2018 in a private hospital here in Lome Togo. He
secretly called me on his bedside and told me that he has a sum of
USD6,000,000.00 United States dollars left in a fixed deposit account
in a local bank here in Lome Togo, that he used my name as his only
Child for the next of kin to deposit of the fund in the bank.
He also explained to me that it was because of this wealth that he was
poisoned by his business associates that I should seek for a foreign
partner in a country of my choice where I will transfer this money and
use it for investment purpose, such real estate.
I am 16 year old. Please I am honorably seeking your assistance in the
1) To provide any bank account where this money would be transferred into.
2) To serve as the guardian of this fund.
3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further
my education and to secure a residential permit for me in your
Moreover, I am willing to share with you the profits from the
investment of the total sum as compensation for your effort input
after the successful transfer of this fund to your nominated account
I want you to please consider my proposal as I can assure you of my
total sincerity and openness towards this transaction.
Thank you for your understanding and I hope to hear from you as soon
as you recieve this message.
Thank you and God Bless.