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:
- "please endeavor to " (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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: Owen Olaniyi <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 08:30:14 -0500
Subject: YOUR URGENT ATTENTION NEEDED
PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL
My name is Owen Olaniyi, I am the credit manager in a bank here in the
West Africa (Nigeria). I am contacting you of a business transfer, of a
huge sum of money from a deceased account. Though I know that a
transaction of this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and
worried, but I am assuring you that everything has been well taken care
of, and all will be well at the end of the day. I decided to contact you
due to the urgency of this transaction. To ease your apprehension, I got
your contact from the British chambers of commerce and industry, foreign
trade division. PROPOSITION; I am the account officer of a foreigner
named Gerald Welsh who died in an air crash along with his wife on the
31st October 1999 in an Egyptian airline 990 with other passengers on
board. You can confirm this from the website below which was published
Since his death, none of his next-of-kin are alive to make claims for
this money as his heir, because they all died in the same accident(May
his soul rest in peace). We cannot release the fund from his account
unless someone applies for claim as the next-of-kin to the deceased as
indicated in our banking guidelines. Upon this discovery, I now seek
your permission to have you stand as a next of kin to the deceased, as
all documentations will be carefully worked out by a lawyer for the
funds Twenty- Eight million, Five Hundred Thousand United States dollars
(US$28,500,000.00) in a domiciliary account to be released in your
favour as the beneficiary's next of kin. Because after four years the
money will be called back to the bank treasury as unclaimed bills and
the money shared amongst the directors of the bank. so it is on this
note i decided to seek for whom his name shall be used as the next of
kin/beneficiary to this funds rather than allow the bank directors to
share this money amongst themselves at the end of the year. It may
interest you to know that we have secured from the probate an order of
mandamus to locate any of the deceased beneficiaries.
Please acknowledge receipt of this message in acceptance of our mutual
business endeavour by furnishing me with the following information if
you are interested.
1.A Beneficiary name. In order for me to prepare the PAPER WORK for
transfer of the funds in your name.
2.Details particulars of your contact address.
3.Direct Telephone and fax numbers;. For our personal contact.
I shall be compensating you with 25% of the total sum on final
conclusion of this project for your assistance, as I have also thought
of doling out 5% to charity organisation from your locality based on
your recommendation, another 5% for the services of the lawyer while the
balance 65% shall be for me for investment purposes in your country as i
cannot bring back this cash to my country. If this proposal is
acceptable by you, please endeavor to contact me immediately.
Do not take undue advantage of the trust I have bestowed in you by
informing you of this transaction from my bank as I will advise you to
kindly desist from responding at all if you do NOT intend to render any
assistance. Endeavour to respond via my secured email
Thanks and best regards,