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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- 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: "Kofi Williams" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2013 13:45:28 +0200
Subject: TRANSFER NOTICE.
My name is Mr kofi Williams I work in the credit and accounts department
of HSBC BANK here in Shanghai China. I write
you in respect of a foreign customer who has a Domiciliary account with
us. His name is Engineer Al 'Abbas Wahhab.
He was among those who died in the USA led war in Iraq 5 years ago. Since
the demise of this our customer, Engineer
Al 'Abbas Wahhab, who was an oil merchant/contractor, I have kept a close
watch of the deposit records and accounts
and since then nobody has come to claim the money in this a/c as next of
kin to the late Engineer Al 'Abbas Wahhab.
He had only $28.5mllion in his a/c and the a/c is coded. It is only an
insider that could produce the code or
password of the deposit. As it stands now, there is nobody in that
position to produce the needed information order
than my very self considering my position in the bank and as his account
I will not like the ChinesG government to confiscate this fund as
unclaimed fund and channel it to the military AS
THE constitution states. if you can help, i will transfer the fund into
your account to avoid Chinese government not
to confiscate the fund as unclaimed fund and channeled it to the military.
And if any body will get the fund, let it
be you and me.
Based on the reason that nobody has come forward to claim the deposit as
next of kin, I hereby ask for your co
operation in using your name as the next of kin to the deceased to send
these funds out to your account. Bearing in
mind that next year, the fund will be confiscated. At this point I am the
only one with the information because I
have removed the deposit file from the safe.
By so doing, what is required is to send an application laying claims of
the deposit on your name as next of kin to
the late Engineer Al Abbas Wahhab. I will need your full name and address,
telephone/fax number, company or
residential, also your bank name and account, where the money will be
When you contact me, then we shall discuss on how the money will be split
between us and others we shall also speak
Kindly send your reply to my private email address stated:
I am Trusting to hear from you to enable me make a decision.
MR KOFFI WILLIAMS.