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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- ",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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Alex Kobby " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2021 22:10:54 +0000
Subject: Best regards!
This mail may be a surprise to you because you did not give me the
permission to do so and neither do you know me but before I tell you
about myself I want you to please forgive me for sending this mail
without your permission. I am writing this letter in confidence
believing that if it is the will of God for you to help me and my
family, God almighty will bless and reward you abundantly. I need an
honest and trust worthy person like you to entrust this huge transfer
My name is Mr. Alex Kobby, The Branch Manager of a Financial
Institution. I got your contact through a reliable source called
database through Ghana chamber of commerce. I am a Ghanaian married with
3 kids. I am writing to solicit your assistance in the transfer of
US$10,500,000.00. This fund is the excess of what my branch in which I
am the manager made as profit last year (i.e. 2020 financial year). I
have already submitted an annual report for that year to my head office
in Accra-Ghana as I have watched with keen interest as they will never
know of this excess. I have since, placed this amount of
US$10,500,000.00 Dollars on an Escrow Coded account without a
beneficiary (Anonymous) to avoid trace.
As an officer of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to this money
thus I am impelled to request for your assistance to receive this money
into your bank account on my behalf. I agree that 40% of this money will
be for you as a foreign partner, in respect to the provision of a
foreign account, and 60% would be for me. I do need to stress that there
are practically no risk involved in this. It's going to be a
bank-to-bank online transfer. All I need from you is to stand as the
original depositor of this fund so that the fund can be transferred to
If you accept this offer, I will appreciate your timely response to me.
This is why and only reason why I contacted you, I am willing to go into
partnership investment with you owing to your wealth of experience, So
please if you are interested to assist on this venture kindly contact me
back for a brief discussion on how to proceed.
Please my dear friend reply me on my private email address:
email@example.com for more details.
Mr. Alex Kobby