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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Mathew Sawadougo <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 7 May 2021 02:56:59 -0700
Subject: Dear Friend
With due respect to your person and much sincerity of purpose, I make this
contact with you as I believe that you can be of great assistance to me. My
name is Mr.Mathew Sawadougou from Ouagadougou Republic of BURKINA FASO,
West Africa . Presently I work in the African development Bank as telex
manager. I have been searching for your contact since you left our country
some years ago.
I do not know whether this is your correct email address or not because I
only used your name initials to search for your contact .In case you are
not the person I am supposed to contact, please see this as a confidential
message and do not reveal it to another person but if you are not the
intended receiver, do let me know whether you can be of assistance
regarding my proposal below because it is top secret.
I am about to retire from active Bank service to start a new life but I am
aseptically revealing this particular secret to a stranger. You must assure
me that everything will be handled confidentially because we are not going
to suffer again in life.
It has been 10 years now that most of the greedy African Politicians used
our bank to launder money overseas through the help of their Political
advisers. Most of the funds which they transferred out of the shores of
Africa were gold and oil money that was supposed to have been used to
develop the continent. Their Political advisers always inflated the amounts
before transfer to foreign accounts so I also used the opportunity to
divert part of the funds hence I am aware that there is no official trace
of how much was transferred as all the accounts used for such transfers
were being closed after transfer.
I acted as the Bank Officer to most of the politicians and when I
discovered that they were using me to succeed in their greedy act; I also
cleaned some of their banking records from the Bank files and no one cared
to ask me because the money was too much for them to control. They
laundered over â¬5b Euros during the process .As I am sending this message
to you, I was able to divert Two Million Five hundred thousand euros
(â¬2.5m) to an escrow account belonging to no one in the bank. The bank is
anxious now to know who the beneficiary to the funds is because they have
made a lot of profits with the funds.
It is more than Eight years now and most of the politicians are no longer
using our bank to transfer funds overseas. The (â¬2.5) Million Euros has
been laying waste but I don't want to retire from the bank without
transferring the funds to a foreign account to enable me share the proceeds
with the receiver. The money will be shared 60% for me and 40% for you..
There is no one coming to ask you about the funds because I secured
everything. I only want you to assist me by providing a bank account where
the funds can be transferred. You are not to face any difficulties or legal
implications as I am going to handle the transfer personally. If you are
capable of receiving the funds, do let me know immediately to enable me to
give you detailed information on what to do.
For me, I have not stolen the money from anyone because the other people
that took the whole money did not face any problems. This is my chance also
to grab my own but you must keep the details of the funds secret to avoid
any leakages as no one in the bank knows about the funds.
Please get back to me if you are interested and capable of handling this
project. I shall intimate you on what to do when I hear from your
confirmation and acceptance. If you are capable of being my trusted
associate, do declare your consent to me .
Waiting for your urgent response.