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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Sarah Nzi <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2021 21:19:35 +0000
Subject: I need your help please
Permit me to inform you on my desire of going into business relationship
with you. I got your name and contact from the Ivorian Chamber of Commerce
and Industry. I prayed over it and selected your name among other names due
to its esteeming nature and the recommendations given to me as a reputable
and trustworthy person I can do business with, and by their
recommendations, I must not hesitate to confide in you for this simple and
I am Sarah Nzi, the only daughter of Late Mr. and Mrs. Nzi. My father was a
very wealthy cocoa merchant based in Abidjan, the economic capital of Ivory
Coast before he was poisoned to death by his business associates on one of
their outing to discuss on a business deal. When my mother died on the 21
April 1999, my father took me so special because I was motherless.
Before the death of my father on the 4th June 2021 in a private hospital
here in Abidjan. He secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he
has a sum of US$ 4,500,000.00 left in a suspense account in a local bank
here in Abidjan. That he used my name as his only daughter for the next of
kin in deposit of this fund. He also explained to me that it was because of
this wealth that he was poisoned by his associates, that I should seek for
a foreign partner in a country of my choice where I will transfer this
money and use it for investment purpose such as Real Estate Management.
Sir, I am honorably seeking your assistance in the following ways,
1) To provide a bank account where this money would be transferred.
2) To serve as the guardian of this fund.
3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my
education and to secure a residential permit for me in your country.
Moreover, I am willing to offer you 20% of the total sum as compensation
for your effort input after the successful transfer of this fund to your
Furthermore, you can indicate your option towards assisting me as I believe
that this transaction would be concluded within seven (7) days you signify
interest to assist me.
Anticipating hearing from you.