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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mike H. Kofi" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2021 20:45:43 -1200
My name is Mike H. Kofi, The son of late Mr. MICHAEL KOFI from Ghana west
My father was a successful businessman before he died of AIDS on the 12th
JAN 2018. Because of my father's death, my mother couldnât stand the
humiliations and shame that her husband died of AIDS, she committed suicide.
I am now treated as outcasts in the neighborhood, at school and even in the
church because of my fatherâs sin.
For this reason, I have decided to relocate to your country where i would
have peace to live and school, and i have contacted you to assist me to
retrieve the sum of $ 6.8 Million and 930 kilograms of Gold Bars which my
father saved in a security company here in Ghana west Africa, for our
upkeep when it became obvious he was going to die.
I have plans to invest in your country.
Please, I am writing with heartfelt concern because of how I lost my
beloved parents, 30% of the total sum will be offered to you for your
assistance and 25% will be used to help our many HIV/AIDS patients in the
Because of the shameful death of my late father and the mysterious death of
my mother, here in West Africa in my neighborhood I am being treated as an
outcast, as an underage boy I run to an orphanage,where I currently stay,
also as underage child can not handle the transaction legally, that is why
I contacted you to help me get the aforementioned $ 6.8 Million and 930
kilograms of Gold Bars out from the security company where my late father
deposited the box before his death.
I would like to hear from you soon so that I will give you more details,
please even if you are not interested and you help me find a gold buyer, I
will give you a commission for any kilogram of Gold Bars sold.
God will reward you as you are going to help me out of this predicament.