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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: madi zongo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2021 17:21:17 +0100
My name is Mr.Madi Zongo, I am a bank staff working with the Bank Of
Africa here in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (West Africa). I want you to
help me in receiving the sum of Twenty Seven Million Two Hundred
Thousand Dollars ($27,200,000) into your Bank Account. This fund was
deposited in the bank here by a foreign customer who died accidentally
alongside with all his entire family members many years ago. Nobody
has applied as the beneficiary of this fund till now. If you are
interested, you will provide a bank account where the fund will be
remitted because i wish to secure this money from the Bank. Please you
can contact me immediately for us to start the transfer process.
Further details about the transaction and the fund will be given to
you upon the receipt of your response.
Please understand that we have to hurry-up our actions because the
bank authority here has plans to redeposit this fund into the treasury
of the Central Government as unclaimed fund if nobody applies for this
fund during the next bank audit here, which will begin soon. I await
for your urgent reply.
Contact me via Email:email@example.com
Bank Of Africa
Ouagadougou - Burkina Faso