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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "microsoft lottery" (no such lottery exists)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "FROM:MR DAVID HUGHES" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 13:04:51 +0000
Subject: RE: PLEASE CONFIRM THIS INFORMATION
NATWEST BANK UK
FUND TRANSFER DEPARTMENT
Good day , this is to inform you of your Long overdue Payment outstanding in our
Banking records . I saw your email address in our bank Central Computer among list of unpaid/unredeemed
award claim individuals and have to update your informations through this
email contact for immediate confirmation .
Your email address appeared among the beneficiaries who will each receive the sum of GBPound 850,000.00
(GBPound Eight-Hundred And Fifty Thousand)deposited by Microsoft Lottery Board for its online lottery promo
held several months back and your award prize money has been approved already for payment months ago.
However,We received an email from one Mr.Kennedy Franklin who told us that he is
your next of kin and that you died in a car accident last four months.
He( Mr.Kennedy Franklin) has submitted his personal details/account informations to the fund transfer department
of our bank for transfer of the fund to him as your inheritor but we have directed him( Mr.Kennedy Franklin)
to our bank external solicitor who will process,vet and notarise all his personal details to have legal
backing before the transfer is done.
We are now verifying by contacting your email address as we have in our Bank
records before we can make the transfer into his account and for us
to conclude confirmation if you are dead or not.
Please ,Respond and confirm this mail so that we will know whether you are living
or dead as claim by Mr.Kennedy Franklin who claim to be your next-of-kin as we do
not want to transfer your fund deposited by microsoft lottery board to a wrong
This department needs the following informations from you urgently.
2,Telephone Or Fax Number
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This E-Mail is intended only for the use of the
individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information
that is privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable
Once again , I apologize to you on behalf of NatWest Bank/Microsoft Lottery board
towards this contact and proper confirmation required urgently from you if alive.
Send your confirmation mail to my personal email address below:
Mr David Hughes