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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge deposit" (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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: John Nwosu <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2010 08:47:28 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Dear Friend
I am John Nwosu a solicitor at law. I am the Personal Attorney to Mr.Daniel S. More, a National of your Country, who has lived in Nigeria for the past fifty years, and whom here in after shall be referred to as my client.
In April 2006, my client, was involved in a fatal car accident. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives, my client was one of them.
I have contacted you to assist in repatriating most especially, the money left behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this huge deposits were lodged.
Particularly, the Bank where the deceased had an account valued at about $14.7 million dollars has issued me a notice to provide the Next of kin, or have the account confiscated.
I seek your consent to present you as the Next of kin of the deceased so that the proceeds of this account valued at $14.7 million dollars can be paid to you, as my clients Next of Kin, and then we can share the amount on a mutual agreed percentage.
All legal documents to back up your claim as the deceased Next of Kin, will be provided. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.
Please get back to me through E-mail:email@example.com, if you are interested with with the below in formation to enable us discuss the way forward.
3,Your Phone/Fax Number
4,Your Age and Gender