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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Andrew Wingfield esq." (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 01:07:55 -0000
Subject: Re: Sir/Ma
NOTIFICATION OF CLAIM.
This is a personal E-mail directed to you and I request that it be treated as such. I am Andrew Wingfield Esq. -Senior Partner at law. I have a proposition relating to the trusteeship of a late client. I have been given the final notice as his private attorney to present members of his extended family who may stand as beneficiaries to his estates or have them forfeited as the law of succession/claims/fund indicates a duration in which such claims could be tolerated; unfortunately he had no (will) at the time of his death and the financial institution have mandated me to present the next of kin or a relative who will claim the funds and failure to respond to this ultimatum would legally allow the financial institute to report this funds to the Reserve Bank as unclaimed funds (Lack of supersede).
Considering my lack of success in my bid to locate his relatives over the years, I solicit your consent to enable me produce you as the next of kin to the deceased. It is my intention that we work this claim together and upon your decision of acceptance, I would process the release of these funds to your possession as the Beneficiary. You are hereby advised to immediately proceed by re-confirming to this office & I shall let you know the entire plan of asset of the deceased estate as soon as i receive your positive response with your Full Names, Contact Address, Direct Telephone/Cellphone#, Occupation, Age & Sex. I will implore your assistance along with my expertise to provide the necessary, legally obtained documents to back up any claim we make regarding this process, and will just require your understanding/ cooperation to enable us achieve success within a legitimate arrangement, eliminating any liability resulting from any breach of the prevalent laws. I will be gratefu
l to acknowledge your swift reply
ANDREW WINGFIELD -Senior Partner
*Asset Management & Investment Funds *Financial Institutions.
The information on this e-mail may be confidential and/or legally privileged. It is intended solely for the addressee. Access to this e-mail by anyone else is unauthorized If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying,distribution or any action taken or omitted to be taken in reliance on it, is prohibited and may be unlawful.