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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Sulaimon Ali <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:26:09 +0100
Subject: I NEED YOUR URGENT TRUST/CONFIDENTIAL
Pardon me for not having the pleasure of knowing your mindset before making
you this offer and it is confidential and genuine by virtue of its
nature,My name is Mr Sulaimon Ali..I work with Fidelity Bank Plc,Foreign
Remittance Department here in Nigeria. I am a Nigerian,Divorce with one
kid.I write to solicit your assistance to a business transfer of a huge sum
of money from a deceased account,a fund transfer deal involving
US$18.8M.Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make
anyone apprehensive and worried, but I am assuring you that all will be
well at the end of the day. I decided to contact you due to the urgency of
I discovered an abandoned sum of $18.8m US dollars( Eighteen Millon Eight
Hundreds Thousands United States dollars) in an account that belongs to one
of our foreign customers (Dr Abdurahman Hamad Al Bassam) ..who died along
with his entire family. Since his death none of his next-of-kin or
relations has come forward to lay claims to this money as the heir. The
bank 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 me for the funds $18.8m US dollars (Eighteen Millon
Eight Hundreds Thousands United States dollars) to be released in your
favour as the beneficiary next of kin.Please acknowledge receipt of this
message in acceptance of our mutual business endeavour by furnishing me
with the following:
1.Your full name:
2.Your full residential address:
3.Your direct telephone number and email address:
4.Your date of birth and occupation:
5.Your nationality and Sex: