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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Mike Ayew" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Aug 2020 20:00:13 +0000
Subject: Hello Dear, please get back to me urgently.
How are you doing today and every member of your family? Hope you all are doing great?
My name is Mr. Mike Ayew, a banker and manager of the Audit & Accounts department in my bank. I used to be a personal account manager to a late customer of our bank, who deposited the sum of US$ 12,500,000,00. And he bears the same last name as yours who died of corona virus in China on a business trip to China this January.
I am giving you these vital and confidential information in order to make a deal with you and get the money into your bank as the recipient and beneficiary because as a foreigner it gives you an advantage on coming into this matter because the deceased was also a foreigner and he has no next of kin to inherit his funds.
so, as you bear the same name with him, I would want to use you as his next of kin inheritor as you stand a better chance so that my bank directors can release the funds to you as his rightful next of kin beneficiary. I have made all adequate arrangements on how the fund will be transferred to you so I can ask for short leave to come to your country for us to share the fund in a ratio of 50P as I am not a greedy person.
So, if you concur to partner with me on these business ventures, kindly reply back for more details.
I see these as a life time opportunity which will benefit both of us in the end.
Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
Mr. Mike Ayew.