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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "lome togo" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. KODJO MARTINS" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2021 15:12:56 +0100
Subject: SEEKING FOR YOUR GOOD HELP.
FROM MR. KODJO MARTINS,
SENIOR MANAGER, ACCOUNTS DEPARTMENT,
BANK OF AFRICA, LOME TOGO.
I am Mr. Kodjo Martins, Senior Manager Accounts Department at Bank of
Africa, Lome Togo. I have worked in this bank for the past twenty
In 1997, I am the Accounts Officer to Dr. Dominic Dim Deng, the
Ambassador of Sudan in Togo.
This Diplomat desposited the sum of fifteen million U.S dollars only
(US$15,000,000.00) and thirty kilograms of gold with our banks
Security Department. This funds and Gold dust was a compensation given
to him by the Japanese Mining Corporation that mined gold in his
farmland in South Sudan.
This funds and gold has been in our security company for the past
twenty four years now and lots of communication has been sent to the
benficiary address without any good response.
Our bank have decided to inherit the funds and gold dust hence nobody
is coming forward for the claims.
Fortunately to me, I saw a website where Dr. Dominic Dim Deng died in
a plane crash alongside with his wife. I was surprsied to see this and
see why there has been no response from thier side.
Here is the website.
I am writing to you to come forward and act as Late Dr. Dominic Dim
Dengs partner to claim this funds and gold from our Security
Department hence I have a copy of the Deposit certificate.
With a copy of the Deposit certificate, our bank will definitely
believe that you are his partner.
I don!t know anything about gold rather than to wear it as a necklace,
if you knows about it, kindly come forward and make the claim for our
collective mutual benefits.
We will share 50/50 hence you will keep it secret to ourselves because
I am still in service.
I look forward to your urgent reply if you are interested.
Thanks and Best Regards,