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:
- "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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Douglas Yong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2010 14:58:08 +0800
Subject: AWAIT RESPONSE
Menara Keck Seng
I am Douglas Yong, an attorney at law. I discovered your email and
information through internet search so I decided to contact you. A
deceased client of mine,died as the result of a heart-related condition on
the 11 November 2001.His heart condition was due to the death of all the
members of his family in the Gulf Air Flight Crash in Persian Gulf near
Bahrain Aired August 23, 2000 - 2:50 p.m. ET as reported on
I have contacted you to assist in distributing the money left behind by my
client before it is confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank
where this deposit valued at TEN MILLION SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED
STATES DOLLARS.($10,600.000.00 USD). Is lodged. This bank has issued me a
notice to contact the next of kin, or the account will be confiscated.My
proposition to you is to seek your consent to present you as the next
-of-kin and beneficiary of my named client, so that the proceeds of this
account can be paid to you.Then we can share the amount on a mutually
agreed-upon percentage.All legal documents to back up your claim as my
client's next-of-kin will be provided. All I require is your cooperation
to enable us see this transaction through. This will be executed under a
legitimate arrangement that will protect you from many breach of the law.
If this business proposition offends your moral values, do accept my
apology. I must use this opportunity to implore you to exercise the utmost
indulgence to keep this matter extraordinary confidential, whatever your
decision. While I await your prompt response. Please contact me at once
via my EMAIL ADDRESS,also kindly send me your PHONE NUMBER to indicate
Phone Number: +60172082475