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:
- 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:
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "David" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 01:23:59 -0500
Sequel to your non response of our earlier letter to you on behalf Of the trustees and Executors to the Will of our late client. I wish to
notify you that we are listing you as a beneficiary to the total sum of £6.2M Great British Pounds (Six Million Two Hundred Thousand Pounds) in the codicil and last testament of the deceased. Until his death he was a major share holder in big companies which include textile and construction companies.
He was a very great philanthropist during his life time. He died on 28th January 2007 at the age of 78. Even though he was a foreigner
living and working here he requested before his death that he be buried here in his words, "I regard here as My home and the people as my people" We therefore reckoned that you can receive this funds as you are qualified by your name identity. All the legal papers will be processed on your response.
In your acceptance of this deal, we request that you kindly forward any proof of identities of yours, your current telephone and fax numbers and forwarding address to enable us file necessary documents at our high court probate division for the release of this sum of money.
I await your reply soon.
David Royden LLP