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:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barr. James Alfred" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2015 16:26:41 -0800
Subject: Get back to me urgently
I am contacting you for a mutual business transaction involving Five Million and Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars (US$5,500,000.00)hoping that you will reply me at your earliest convenient for a possible business relationship on how to actualize this mutual benefit.On the 26th of August 2011, my client husband and their Two children were involved in UN building blast here in Abuja,My client and his family unfortunately lost there lives.
PLEASE VIEW THESE WEBSITES BELOW TO CONFIRM
I want us to claim the fund Since then I have made several inquiries to your embassy to locate any of my client extended relatives,this has also proved unsuccessful,hence I contacted you.I will secure all paperwork and process the release of the fund to you as the bank have given me a mandate to provide the next of kin for the claim of his estate.Send your FULL NAME, ADDRESS & PHONE NUMBER so that I will give you a call for more information in details.Call me on +234 815 628 7837 for more information in details.
As soon as I hear from you, further details will be send to you.
I await your urgent response.
Barr. James Alfred