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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "million british pounds" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "TONY CHAN" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 1 May 2011 15:42:48 +0100
Subject: ATT:IMPORTANT MESSAGE...
My name is Tony Chan Chun-chuen, friend and close confidant to Nina Wang
Kung, Who passed away on the 3rd of April 2007 . I will save your time by
not boring you with all the details at this time, Which has already been
disseminated by the international media during the Controversial dispute
that erupted between her and her late husband s Relatives concerning the
huge estate he left behind. To save my time and yours I ask that you go to
As you will learn after going through the link above, all sorts of stories
Have been assumed concerning the huge sum of money she left behind. Some
Stories even say she left the bulk of her estate to me. But the truth is,
Although I am the sole custodian of a huge sum of her estate, she left
strict Instructions that I hand over the money to charity and also that
under no Circumstance should I let any of her late husbands relatives and
even her own relatives lay their hands on the money. Contrary to media
reports, she made Sure her immediate family is well catered for since she
had no children of her Own,Before her death Nina Wang went ahead to dispatch
the sum of Eight hundred and Twenty Million British Pounds (BP820,
000,000.00) in cash with the assistance Of a foreign diplomat who now
resides in Europe, but I will ensure to make her Wish comes through. Now the
reason why I have contacted you is that there is also some other Funds in
the tune of $12,000,000.00 with the Hang Seng Bank China,and I want Your
assistance for me to transfer these funds in your name to your account for
Both of us I will agree to share with you in a negotiable percentage as far
as You agree to take part in this mutual benefiting opportunity. Please I
count on your absolute confidentiality, transparency and trust while Looking
forward to your prompt response this Business transaction through my email
address as follows:
Thanks & May the Stars Guide us In the Right Path, I remain yours
Tony Chan Chun-chuen