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:
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "DR.SYED AHAD" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2013 03:48:21 +0800 (CST)
Subject: CAN I TRUST YOU ??
Greeting to you
Do accept my sincere apologies if my mail does not meet your personal
ethics. I will introduce myself first to you.My name is DR.SYED AHAD
manager in the accounts management section of BSIC BANK BENIN
REPUBLIC, This account belongs to one of our foreign customer from
Libya who died along with his family on 20 October 2011,He has
accounts with holding balance of USD15,000,000(Fifteen Million
United States Dollars
VIEW THIS WEB SITE FOR MORE INFO: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3348109.stm
And since his death, nobody has come as regards the claiming
of this money because he has no family members who are aware of the
existence of neither the account nor the funds. I have secretly
discussed this matter with some of the bank officials and we have
agreed to find a reliable foreign partner to make this deal. We thus
propose to do business with you,standing in as the next of kin so that
this fund will be released to you after due processes have been
If you accept to carry out this project with us, we will offer you 40%
of the total sum, while I and my colleagues involved will take 60% of
the total sum. Upon your acceptance to do this deal with us, we will
jointly effect the transfer within eight working days.This transaction
is totally free of risk and troubles as the fund is legitimate and
does not originate from drug, money laundry, terrorism or any other
illegal act. On your interest, let me hear from you,along with below
(3) YOUR ADDRESS:.............
(4) YOUR TELEPHONE ...............
(7) YOUR OCCUPATION................
PLEASE DO CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY ON MY EMAIL AT