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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united state 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)
- "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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Sam Tango <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2021 07:50:38 +0100
Subject: Waiting For Your Candid Response
With due respect to your person and much sincerity of purpose, I make
this contact with you as I believe that you can be of great assistance
to me. My name is Mr. Sam Tango, from Ouagadougou Republic of BURKINA
FASO, West Africa . Presently i work in the African development Bank as
telex manager. I have been searching for your contact since you left our
country some years ago.
I do not know whether this is your correct email address or not because
I only used your name initials to search for your contact .In case you
are not the person I am supposed to contact, please see this as a
confidential message and do not reveal it to another person but if you
are not the intended receiver, do 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 Bank service to start a new life but I
am sceptical 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 transfer 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 $5b Dollars during the process .As I am sending this
message to you, I was able to divert thirty five million united state
dollars ($35m) to an escrow account belonging to no one in the bank. The
bank is anxious now to know who the beneficiary to the funds is 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 ($35) Million
Dollars has been laying waste but I don't want to retire from the bank
without transferring the funds to a foreign account to enable me share
the proceeds with the receiver. 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 bank account
where the funds can be transferred. You are not to face any difficulties
or legal implications as I am going to handle the transfer personally.
If you are capable of receiving the funds, do let me know immediately to
enable me give you a 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
also to grab my own but you must keep the details of the funds secret to
avoid any leakages as no one in the bank knows about the funds.
Please get back to me if you are interested and capable to handle this
I shall intimate you on what to do when I hear from your confirmation
and acceptance. If you are capable of being my trusted associate, do
declare your consent to me .
Waiting for your urgent response.
Mr. Sam Tango