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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Barry Williams." (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2018 19:32:14 -0800
Subject: YOUR URGENT REPLY NEEDED
This is 62 years old Mr. Barry Williams, I worked with United Bank for Africa (UBA) till my retirement years ago. I was in my home few days ago a call came from UBA demanding my urgent attention on this matter. I was mandated to provide any relative of my late Client whom I was his personal accountant before his death. He has this deposit of $20M with our Bank
unclaimed till this time of Bank audit.
As it stands now, I am unable to locate any of his relative because it has been a long event, I cannot remember much about him but I told them to give me some time to find one, at this, after ransacking my files, I was able to find copy of this fund deposit and certificate of death of my late client. With these, I was able to employ an internet engineer to search with his last name before your email was located.
Right now, I dont have time to stress myself in further searching about this guy so I have decided to front you as his next of kin to claim this fund for our mutual benefits whether you are truly related to him or not. Let me help you make money for your entire generation or you can give some to charity. I need only 30% dont need much money at this age my only daughter is married to a foreigner.
If you can handle this transaction perfectly, I will get you fronted to the Bank as the next of kin to my late client and have this funds received into your account.
If you are ready get in touch.
Mr. Barry Williams.