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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. David I. Mckay" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2012 00:52:27 -0600
Subject: Urgent Message from Mr. David Mckay (VIP)
Let me begin by introducing myself properly to you, I am David Mckay Esq ,I Have a business suggestion for you Please if you are capable of maintaining confidentiality and standing as the next of Kin to a late partner who died with un-identified family or relative, I am contacting you because of his left deposit valued at ? 6.350 Million Euro, with one of the leading banks here in my country,since my late client was from your country and share the same last name with your family. The bank has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin, Please do reply with the following information for further clarifications.
Your Full Name...........
Your phone Tel..........
I look forward hearing from you as soon as possible If you are willing to proceed with me.
Mr. David Mckay Esq.