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:
- "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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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: "Pedro Martin Martinez " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2019 21:44:42 -0800
Subject: Urgently reply
Firstly, I must solicit your confidence in this notice; this is by virtue =
of its nature as being utterly confidential and most personal. Though I kno=
w that information of this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and wor=
ried, but I am assuring you that all will be well at the end of the day as =
you read on. =
Let me start by first introducing myself properly to you. It may surprise y=
ou receiving this letter from me, since there was no previous correspondenc=
e between us. My name is Pedro Martin Martinez Esq. a personal Attorney to =
Late Ms. Mariam.
My purpose of contacting you is for you to help secure and claim the fund =
left behind by my late client, to avoid it being confiscated or declared un=
serviceable by the Bank where this fund valued =20AC6,800,000.00 (Six Milli=
on Eight Hundred Thousand Euros) deposited by my client before her death wi=
th your name as the next of kin. =
The Bank has issued me a notice twice before and now the last notice to con=
tact the next of kin or the account will be declared unserviceable and the =
fund diverted to the Bank treasury for the government. So far all my effort=
s to get a hold of someone related to the woman in other to find you have p=
roved abortive. And now I have contacted you as the name given to me by my =
late client. I am actually asking for your consent immediately to present y=
ou to the Bank as the Next of Kin/beneficiary of my late client's fund, sin=
ce your name and address is the same name as given to me by my late client,=
so that the proceeds of this account will be paid to your account in your =
country as her wish.
All the legal documentations to back up your claim as my client's next of K=
in, I shall provide from the right offices. All I require is your honest co=
operation and support to do the wish of my late client as she had wanted me=
does. Note that I have written you three times before without any reply an=
d this is the fourth time. =
I wish to point out that she want 20% of this money to be shared among CHA=
RITY Organization=2019s in your country, while the remaining 80% is shared =
between us 60% for you and 20% for me as directed by late Ms. Mariam which =
I will share 10% from the 20% I received to the charity organization here i=
n Spain every month until it finishes and 10% for myself. This claim is ent=
irely risk free. I will use my position as my client=2019s attorney to guar=
antee the successful execution of this transaction. So if you are intereste=
d to make your claim. Please contact me via TEL: +34 602 590 417 / +34 911 =
010 439 FAX: +34 911 820 399 or email: email@example.com or popular@=
consultant.com by STATING YOUR FULL NAMES TO CONFIRM THAT YOUR ARE THE RIGH=
T PERSON THAT GOT MY LETTER. Upon your response, I shall then provide you w=
ith more details here WILL and relevant documents that will help you unders=
tand this transaction well, which will follow on the request of the bank as=
regards to the bank inheritance requirements.
This inheritance will be done under a legitimate arrangement that will pro=
tect you and me from any breach of the law here or in your country. However=
, if this inheritance offends your moral ethics, do accept my sincere apolo=
If on the contrary you wish to achieve your claim, kindly get back to me wi=
th your interest for further explanations. =
Incase you don=2019t write or speak English you can write me in your langua=
ge and I will do the translation here.
Pedro Martin Martinez Esq
Pr=EDncipe de Vergara, 62 / 2, 28006 MADRID, SPAIN
TEL: +34 602 590 417 / +34 911 010 439
FAX: +34 911 820 399