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:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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: "BARR LATEEF GBADE" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2010 03:34:59 -0300 (BRT)
Subject: HELLO MY GOOD FRIEND
HELLO MY GOOD FRIEND,
I am Barrister LATEEF GBADE, an attorney at law. This mail is written to
solicit your assistance to be presented as next of kin to my deceased client
Mr Ronald Lake. He made a fixed deposit valued US 3.5M,(Three Million, Five
Hundred Thousand US Dollars) on September 1998 for 36 months
maturity, with an intent of putting up a coal mining company here in Nigeria
and upon the maturity this bank started contacting him but to no avail.
On Saturday 4th, May 2002, my client along with his wife died in a plane crash
of Airlines Flight number BAC 111-500 at northern Nigeria. You shall
read more about the crash on visiting this site (
The Governing Body of the bank has contacted me on this matter, based on the
fact that his supposed next of kin, happened to die in the said crash and I
am yet to provide any other Next of Kin to lay claim to the fund.
Under a clear and legitimate agreement with you, I shall seek your consent
to be presented as the next of Kin,so that the proceeds of this account now
valued US 4.1 million, will be paid to you, so that the Bank will not
confiscate this fund, as the banking law and guidelines here stipulates
that if such money remained unclaimed after four years, the money will be
transfered into the bank treasury as unclaimed fund.
For the sake of transparency on this matter, you are free to make immediate
contact with me through my mailbox as ( email@example.com ),
for further information related to this matter.
Thank you very much for your anticipated acceptance while I expect your
CHIEF LATEEF GBADE