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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Henry James
Date: Sat, 26 Dec 2015 09:44:27 +0300
Subject: YOUR ASSISTANCE IS HIGHLY NEEDED,
I Am Henry James the Manager, Bills And Exchange at the
Foreign Remittance department in a Bank. Actually, I have
a very urgent & confidential Business Proposition for
you & for our overall mutual interest. On the 6th of
March 2001, our Customer, an American National, late
Williams J. Stone, an Oil Merchant / Contractor with the
Federal Government of Nigeria, deposited, a valued amount of
US$32Million in my branch. Upon maturity, I sent a routine
notification to his forwarded address but got no reply.
After a month we sent a reminder, & finally we
discovered from his contract employers NNPC, that late
William J. Stone, until his death Twelve years ago in a
ghastly terrorist attack to American Airlines Flight 11,
from Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles, California,
crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center (WTC)
with 86 people on board. All occupants of the Aeroplane
unfortunately lost their lives.
On further Investigation, I found out that he did not leave
a WILL and all attempts to trace his Next of kin were
Fruitless. I therefore made further investigation and
discovered that late Williams J. Stone , did not declare any
Next of kin in all his official documents. This sum
US$32Million is still floating in the bank and the interest
is being rolled over with the principal sum at the end of
each year. No one will come forward to claim it. According
to Nigerian Laws, at the expiration of 17years, the money
will revert to the Ownership of the Nigerian Government if
nobody applies to claim the funds.
Consequently,my proposal is that i will like you as a
foreigner to stand in as a Next of kin of Late Williams J.
Stone This is simple. All I require is your honest and
co-operation to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee
that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement
that will protect you from any breach of the law. I will
want you to send to me on your return email the following
information for the transfer in your favor.
1. Your full names as the Beneficiary of the Fund.
2. Your contact address.
3. Your private phone and fax numbers.
Let's consider that our ratio of sharing will be as
1. I as the Originator of the Fund will take 50% of the
2. You as the Manager of the Fund will take 50% of the
Most importantly, CONFIDENTAILITY as what I saw as the life
wire to the success of the transfer of this Fund must have
to be emulated between you and me. You have to use this
media to promise me that you will not in anyway expose the
content of this transaction to anybody be it your Friends,
Colleagues and Co-Workers.I will also want you to send your
reply to this email ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
as soon as you get this mail to enable us discuss on the
modalities and processes for success of this transaction.
Thanks for your Anticipated cooperation and understanding.
I wait for your kind response.
Thanks And Remain blessed.