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 great british pounds" (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)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "Andrew E." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 23:42:34 +0100
Subject: PLEASE I NEED YOUR URGENT RESPOND.
Good Day My Friend,
I am Mr. Andrew Edwards, Head of Client Asset Management of Lloyds
Banking Group Plc, United Kingdom. I believe it is the wish of God for
me to come across you today. Also, I hope that you will not expose or
betray this trust and confident that I am about to impose on you. I
have been in search of someone with this same last name, so when I saw
your name, I was pushed to contact you for our mutual benefit.
One of our customers, from your country had a fixed deposit account
with our bank in 2004 that valued the sum of (Twelve Million, six
Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds). The maturity date for this
deposit was on 2007, unfortunately he was among the death victims of
the May 26, 2006 Earthquake disaster in Jawa, Indonesia that killed
about 5,782 people.
He was on a business trip in Indonesia during this disaster that end
up his life. Being single, he did not state any Heir-Apparent when the
account was opened, although as his Account Officer. He told me that
he will later forward one of his relatives name as his Next of
Kin Heir to the Account which He did not fulfilled before he met his
Since then, I have been looking for someone from your country with
similar name. I was happy when I saw your name and I am now seeking
for your co-operation to present you as the Next of Kin Heir to this
account hence you have similar last name with the deceased. Do not be
afraid, there is no risk involved and every legitimate arrangement to
perfect this deal has been put in place.
For your involvement in this deal, you will receive 50% of the total
amount after transfer while i take 50%.
Also for confidentiality in this transaction i will like us to keep
via email for now.
Should you consider this offer interesting, kindly send me the below
information of yours completely via my private email address. Should
you consider this offer interesting, kindly send me your complete
information via my private email address: email@example.com
Your Complete Full Name:
Your Full Contact Address:
Your direct Mobile phone Number:
Your Major occupation:
I am waiting for your immediate reply.
Mr. Andrew Edwards.
This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.