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:
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Handase Ebbe" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2021 08:28:19 +0100
I am Mr. Handase Ebbe, I currently hold the post as the Audit Account
Manager of our bank in Ouagadougou Branch, Burkina-Faso. I got your
contact from a reliable web directory. We can see actually that the
world is a very small place to meet people but what matters most for
me is to transact with a person with full trust. I have developed the
trust on you after one week of fasting and praying. Due to the trust,
I made up my mind to disclose this confidential business to you.
We are imposition to reclaim and inherit the sum of US($18.3) Million
without any trouble, from a dormant account which remains unclaimed
since 7years the owner died. This is a U.S Dollarâs account and the
beneficiary died without trace of his family to claim the fund, Once
this fund is transferred into your account, we will share the fund
accordingly, 40%, for you, 60%, for me.
I will guide you on the proper banking guidelines to follow for the
claim. After the transfer, I will fly to your country for sharing
according to our agreement.
Note that this transaction will never in any way harm or foiled your
good post or reputation in your country, because everything will
follow legal process. I am looking forward to hear from you soonest.
Mr . Handase Ebbe