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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- ",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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- +447012949156 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: richard morris <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Jun 2015 10:29:30 -0700
Subject: Dearest Good Day.
My name is Jennifer Ahsan, I am an account officer in a bank here in
the United Kingdom. I am contacting you for a very beneficial business
of a huge sum of money from a deceased account. Though I know that a
transaction of this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and
worried, but I am assuring you that everything has been well taken
care off, and all will be well at the end of the day.
I am the account officer of a foreigner who died in an auto crash
along with his wife and children on the 31st October 2012. Upon this
discovery, I now seek your permission to have you stand as a next of
kin to the deceased because you bear the same last with him and to
claim the funds he deposited in our bank worth Four Million, Five
Hundred Thousand British Pounds Sterling (Â£4,500,000.00)
Therefore, it is on this note I decided to seek for whom his name
shall be used as the next of kin/beneficiary to this funds rather than
allow the bank directors to share this money amongst them at the end
of the year.
Please acknowledge receipt of this message in acceptance of our mutual
business endeavor by responding to this letter. I shall be
compensating you with 40% of the total sum on conclusion of this
project for your assistance. Do not take undue advantage of the trust
I have bestowed in you by informing you of this transaction from my
bank, as I will advise you to kindly desist from responding at all if
you do NOT intend to render any assistance.
I will like you to provide me with the following details below:
(1) Your full name
(2) Your address
(3) Telephone number
(7) Marriage status
Kindly contact me through my email@example.com,
Thanks and best regards,
Private Tel: +447012949156