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.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: Adulai Gano <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Adulai Gano <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 23:30:26 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Hello Dear
Greetings and It's my hope that my mail meets you well; I'm advocate Adulai Gano, a legal representative to a national of your country who passes away in the year 2009, he dwelt and worked here in Togo for more than 20 years as a contractor. I am writing this letter to you because there is something important I want us to work on; regarding his left over estate. He has the same last name with you, so I seek your consent to present you as a member of his family in order to claim the $8.7m he left in a bank here. I was his personal Attorney before he died and I have been mandated by his bank to present his next of kin or any member of his family to claim this fund. So I would like to present you as his cousin due to the similarity in your last names so we claim this fund. If you are interested to work with me on this deal,
we'll be sharing the fund equal(50 - 50). Kindly indicate your interest for this claim by getting back so that I will give you full details about the deal.
Thanks in advance as I await your positive response.
Adulai Gano (Esq)