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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Hotmail, United Kingdom; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Cynthia Logan" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2010 17:27:10 +0100
Subject: INVESTMENT PROPOSAL FROM CYNTHIA LOGAN
I am Cynthia Logan Chief Accountant to Ronald Lake and Joyce Lake who used to work with Frank Howard Allen Realtors. On the 31st of January 2000, my client and his wife were involved in a Plane Crash (Alaska Airlines Flight 261) all passengers unfortunately lost their lives, since then I have made several Inquiries to locate any of my client?s extended relatives but this proved unsuccessful.
You can read more about there death on this website below:
After all these several unsuccessful attempts, since it's not compulsory that the next-of-kin must be a blood relation to the deceased, hence I contacted you because you are from the same country with my late client, Be informed that a next-of-kin can be anybody, friends or organization.
Presently,the Bank where the deceased (my client) had a Deposit valued at US$74,980,000.00 Million issued me a notice to provide the next-of-kin to my client to receive its benefit or have the account confiscated,so I have contacted you to assist me in repatriating this benefit left behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Bank.
To this effect, I now seek your consent to present you to the Bank as the next of kin of the deceased (my Client) so that the proceeds of this Deposit valued at US$74,980,000.00 Million can be paid to you and then you and I can share the money; 70% to me and 25% to you, while 5% will be used in settling any incurred expenses on both sides.
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.
Please get in touch with me via my private Email: (email@example.com) below is the details immediately you acknowledge the good receipt of this message.
Country of Origin:
Your prompt response is highly imperative.