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:
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- "accredited attorney" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR.PERRY WINCHESTER" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2011 23:21:51 -0500
Subject: FROM: MR.PERRY WINCHESTER / SINCERE REQUEST REGARDING THIS INVESTMENT.URGENT REPLY
BRANCH MANAGER(ALLIED IRISH BANK)
ALLIED IRISH BANK
14 The Av, Southampton, SO17 1XF
Reply to my Email:MRPERRWINCHESTE@aol.co.uk
I am MR.PERRY WINCHESTER and i work with Allied Irish Bank GB.I feel quite safe
dealing with you in this business proposition although,this medium(Internet)has been
greatly abused,I choose to reach you through it because it still remains the
fastest,surest and most secured medium of communication.However,this Correspondence
is unofficial and private, and it should be treated as such.I wish to inform you
that this letter is not a hoax or Scam mail and I urge you to treat it with the
seriousness it deserves.
I also guarantee you that this deal is hitch free from all what you may think of I
am MR.PERRY WINCHESTER,(Branch Manager/Leicester Office).My office onitors and
controls the affairs of all banks and financial institutions here in United Kingdom
concerned with foreign claim payments.My office has the final signatory to any
transfer or remittance of huge funds moving within banks both on the local and
international levels in line with foreign claim settlement.
I have before me list of funds, which could not be transferred to some nominated
accounts as these accounts have been identified either as ghost accounts, unclaimed
deposits and over-invoiced sum etc. As it is my duty to recommend the transfer of
these surplus funds to the British Government Treasury and Reserve Accounts as
unclaimed deposits,I have the opportunity to write you based on the instructions
received two days ago from the Foreign Debts Reconciliation Dept to submit the List
of payment reports/expenditures and audited reports of revenues.Among several
others, I have decided to present you as the Next of Kin/Will Beneficiary to an
overdue inheritance sum of US$38,600,000.00 (Thirty Eight Million, Six Thousand
United States Dollars) belonging to our Late Client an America who unfortunately
lost her life and family in a plane crash.
Following my idea that we can have a deal/agreement and I am going to do this
legally with your name as the bonafide beneficiary of the amount in question by
employing the service of a uk accredited attorney, who will handle all the legal
documentations and lay claims through his legal authority on your behalf.Listen 50%
of this money will be for you,in respect to the provision of a foreign account and
50% would be for me as have planned to come to your Country as soon as the transfer
1) The sum of US$38,600,000.00 (Thirty Eight Million, Six Hundred Thousand United
States Dollars)only will be transfer into your account after the processing of all
relevant legal documents with your name as the bonfiden beneficary,the transfer will
be made by telegraphic Transfer(T/T),conformable in 7 working days.
2)This deal must be kept secret forever,and all correspondence will be strictly by
email/telephone, for security purposes.
3)There should be no third parties as most problem associated with your fund release
are caused by your agents or representative.
If you Agree with my conditions,i will advise you on what to do immediately and the
transfer will commence without delay as I will proceed to fix your name on the
Payment schedule instantly to meet the 7 working days mandate.
I hope you don't reject this offer and have this fund transferred.
Waiting for your reply soon.