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)
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "is 100% risk-free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: Abdul Hamza <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2023 14:11:00 +0000
Subject: GREETINGS!!!! FROM ABDUL HAMZA TREAT AS URGENT.
From Mr. Abdul Hamza
Bill & Exchange Manager
Bank Of Africa (B O A)
Ouagadougou - Burkina-Faso
(PRIVATE & VERY CONFIDENTAL)
Before I introduce myself, I wish to inform you that this message is
not a hoax mail or a scam, and I beg you to treat it very serious.
This message must come to you as a big surprise, but i believe it is
only a day that people meet and become great friends and highly
trusted business partners.
I am Mr. Abdul Hamza, the Manager in charge of BILL & EXCHANGE
Department at the BANK OF AFRICA (BOA), here in Ouagadougou -
Burkina-Faso (West Africa). With due respect and regard, i have
decided to contact you about a business transaction that will be very
beneficial to both of us at the end.
During our official investigation and auditing in this bank, my
department came across a very huge sum of money belonging to a
deceased person, who died in January 2003, by plane crash, and the
fund has been dormant in his account with this Bank without anybody to
claim the fund still in our custody either from his family or any
Although personally, I keep this information secret within myself to
enable my plan and idea be Profitable and successful during execution.
The said amount is TWENTY TWO MILLION THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED
STATES DOLLARS ($22,300,000)
Meanwhile all the whole arrangements to put claim over this fund as
the Bona Fide Next Of Kin to the deceased, to get the required
approval and also transfer this money to a foreign account have been
put in place, and will be sent to you as soon as you indicate your
interest and willingness to assist me and also benefit from this great
In fact I could have done this deal alone but because of my position
in this country as a civil servant (a Bank Staff), we are not allowed
to operate a foreign account and would eventually raise an eye brow on
my side during the time of transfer because I work in this bank. This
is the actual reason why it will require a second party or fellow who
will forward claims as the next of kin to the Bank. I don't want this
money to go into the Bankâs treasury as unclaimed Fund. Our Banking
laws and official guidelines here stipulate that if such money
remained unclaimed after Twenty years, the money will be transferred
into the Bankâs Treasury as Unclaimed Fund. The request of foreigner
as Next Of Kin or Beneficiary in this business is due to the fact that
the late bank customer was a foreigner and a Burkinabe cannot stand as
Beneficiary to a Foreigner.
I also want to assure you that this transaction is 100% risk-free. On
smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 40% of
the total sum as your on share, while 10% will be set aside to take
care of expenses that may arise during the time of transfer, while 50%
will be for me. Please, you have been advised to keep this deal a "top
secret" as I am still in service and i intend to honorably retire from
service after i conclude this transaction with you.
Note Well: If you are interested in my offer, kindly reply to this
Mr. Abdul Hamza