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:
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "into your nominated bank 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)
- "million united state 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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: "MARTINS DORIS M" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 18:49:55 -0300
Subject: MARTINS DORIS M. & ASSOCIATES
MARTINS DORIS M. & ASSOCIATES
SOLICITORS AND ADVOCATES
Equity and Justice Office, plot 234 GRA Apapa
My name is barrister MARTINS DORIS M. (Esq), I got your contact information from a reputable business/professional directory of your country which gives me
assurance of your legibility as a person while trying to get a good and capable business for both business and investment purposes. like I said, I am
Barrister MARTINS DORIS M. (Esq.) I was the Personal Attorney to late Mr. Morris Thompson an American who was a businessman in my country Nigeria but
unfortunately he died in an air crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 which crashed on January 31st 2007,including his wife and only daughter.
Before the crash, Mr. Morris Thompson made a fixed deposit value of $20,000,000.00USD (TWENTY MILLION UNITED STATE DOLLARS) with the old STANDARD TRUST
BANKOF NIGERIA Upon maturity several notice was sent to him, but there where no response. After a months or two found out that Mr. Morris Thompson and his
family died in the plane crash that happened.Further investigation being his personal attorney, proved that Mr. Morris Thompson's one and only next of kin
was his daughter who died with him in the crash. I have made several contacts for any of his relative or family member but there is no response coming forth
What borders me most is that according to the laws of my country at the expiration of 8 years the funds will revert to federal government treasury account
(FEDERAL REPUBLIC NIGERIA GOVERNMENT ACCOUNT) if nobody applies to claim the funds. Against this backdrop, I needed a foreigner to assist me in getting this
fund out from the government account because due to bad leaders we have in Africa, this fund will not be utilized but will be diverted into personal account
of famous and top politicians in the country rather than using it for proper investment that will promote growth and development in the country or rather for
charity work. So please I will like you as a foreigner to stand as the next of kin to Mr. to my late client Mr. Morris Thompson so that you will be able to
receive these funds for both of us.
WHAT IS TO BE DONE?I want you to know that I have had everything planned out so that we shall come out successfully. As a barrister, I will prepare the
necessary documents that will back you up as the next of kin to Mr. Morris Thompson and the most important thing needed is truth and truth for us to have it
done.. PLEASE WHAT IS TO PROVIDE ME WITH YOUR FULL INFORMATION SUCH AS STATED BELOW, SO THAT I WILL PREPARE THE NEEDED LEGAL DOCUMENTS
 OCCUPATION STATUS:
Also be informed that this Transaction will take us just 5-10 working days onlyto accomplish beginning from when I receive the above information and you have
been made the next of kin, I will file an application to the bank on your behalf as soon as I secure the necessary approval and letter of probate in your
favor for the movement of the funds to an account that will be provided by you. This process is 100% risk free as I have set out all the modalities to see
that a legal and legitimate process is applied because I will prepare all the necessary legal documents.
Please note that utmo st secrecy and confidentiality is required at all timesduring this transaction.Once the funds have been transferred into your nominated
bank account weWILL SHARE IT IN THE RATIO of 50% for me, 45% for you and the balance 5% will be use to pay for any expenses incurred in getting the fund
released to you. I will prefer that you reach me via this email address: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Your earliest response to this offer will be appreciated.
Barr. MARTINS DORIS