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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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: GEORGE SMITH <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2011 19:19:16 -0800
Subject: From : George, Smith
Auditing and Account Manager
I am a staff of one of the bank's here and I am writing to you following
an opportunity in my office that will be of benefit to both of us . In my
department we discovered an abandoned sum of $5.5million( Five Million, Five
Hundred Thousand Dollar ) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign
customers Late Mr. Robert Greg an American who unfortunately lost his life
in the 2004 tsunami disaster in Thailand including his wife and two of his
Since we got information about his death , we have been expecting his next
of kin or relatives to come over and claim his money because we cannot
release it unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or relation to the
deceased as indicated in our banking laws and guidelines .
Unfortunately I learnt that his supposed next of kin being his two daughters
died along with him in the Tsunami disaster leaving nobody with the
knowledge of this fund behind for the claim . It is therefore upon this
discovery that i now decided to make the deal with you and transfer this
money to you as the partner or beneficiary of the funds for safety keeping
and subsequent disbursement since nobody is coming for it and we don't want
this money to go back into Bank treasury as unclaimed bill .
The banking law and guidelines here stipulates that such money remained
after Six years the money will be transferred into banking treasury as
unclaimed funds . We agreed that 45% of this money will be for you as
foreign partner , while 10% of the Fund to any Charity organizations of your
choice in the same trend , while 45% will be for me .
Please note that all necessary arrangement for the smooth release of these
funds to you has been finalized . I will discuss more in details when I do
receive your response . If you are interested , kindly fill the below for
the next step :
PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL , CONTACT ME DIRECT TO MY PRIVATE EMAIL(
firstname.lastname@example.org )with your below contact information , May the
Almighty continue to guide and protect you
Country of origin:
Your bank information
Bank address and phone/fax:
>From : George, Smith