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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million dollars" (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)
- "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.Abderazack Zebdani" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2021 20:21:54 +0100
Subject: Dear Friend
Please I want you to read this letter very carefully and I apologize for
barging this message into your mail box without any formal introduction due
to the urgency and confidentiality of this business. My name is Mr.
Abderazack Zebdani, from Burkina Faso, West Africa. I work in Bank Of
Africa (BOA) as telex manager, please see this as a confidential message
and do not reveal it to another person and 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 Banking service to start a new life but I am
skeptical to reveal 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 transferring 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 $5billion
Dollars during the process.
Before I send this message to you, I have already diverted ($10.5million
Dollars) to an escrow account belonging to no one in the bank. The bank is
anxious now to know who the beneficiary to the funds 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 ($10.5million Dollars) has been laying waste in our bank and I donât
want to retire from the bank without transferring the funds to a foreign
account to enable me share the proceeds with the receiver (a foreigner).
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 reliable bank account where the funds can be
You are not to face any difficulties or legal implications. If you are
capable of receiving the funds, do let me know to enable me 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 to grab my own life opportunity but you
must keep the details of the funds secret to avoid any leakages as no one
in the bank knows about my plans. Please get back to me if you are
interested and capable to handle this project, I am looking forward to hear
from you immediately for further information.
Thanks, with my best regards.
Mr. Abderazack Zebdani.
Bank Of Africa (BOA)