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:
- ",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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447086465107 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: JOE GARNER <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 22:45:35 +0100
Subject: IS URGENT YOU HAVE TO RESPOND FAST
My name is Joe Garner.Deputy Executive Director Halifax Bank-London , i
saw your profile on the world wide web data base ,however i am
contacting you for a confidential proposal
because our late client has ($8,500,000.00) and the only next of kin
Just who has the same last name with you just died in Russia crisis 3
weeks ago so I am contacting you as a matter of urgency about a huge
transfer of ($8,500,000.00) Eight Million Five Hundred Thousand United
State Dollar. But I want to first transfer $1,500.000.00 (One million
Five hundred thousand USD) from this money into a safe account and
after which we will transfer the remaining (7M) I have only written to
seek for your indulgence and assistance. You will be providing a
designated bank account of your choice. It is an unequivocal fact that
we've not met nor communicated before but due to the true revelation
that I should share this with you.
The Fund is currently deposited in Here in our bank Thus for your
indulgence and assistance (morally and financially), I propose a 45%
share of the total amount to you after the transfer has been
successfully effected, I need your urgent response on assurance of
trust that you will not deny me my share once the fund is credited to
your personal bank account as I am a poor banker who depends solely on
monthly salary, so kindly state your interest by replying immediately
and I shall furnish you with details and procedures preceding the
please get back to me asap or you can call my private mobile number at