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)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "can i trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Chris Lucas." (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2016 11:53:59 +0300
Subject: Dear Friend I Need Your Co-operation.
I am Chris Lucas a legal practitioner and sincerely would want to have a business relationship with you.The crux of this letter is that I have a deceased client from your country, a consultant to Chevron Company here in my country who bear the same surname with you. Unfortunately him and his wife lost their lives in auto crash along Lagos Ibadan express way April 2013.
Since then I have made several inquiries to locate any of their extended relatives, but all efforts made was to no avail. After the several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to contact you since your bear the same last name.
My proposition to you is to seek your consent to present you as the next-of- kin to my client and also the beneficiary of his proceeds in one of the finance institute in my country since you shares the same last name with him.
This means that the proceeds of his save deposit would be paid to you as his next of kin and the legitimate beneficiary for the both of us to share it mutually. This deposit is to be declared UN-serviceable and confiscate by the bank as there have been no indicated next of kin.
The total amount of cash deposited by my deceased client is (USD14.7M) (Fourteen Million and Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars). He confided in me when he was alive, since they are married for 9 years without a child and of age to their death.
Now, the bank has issued to me a notification letter to contact the next of kin of my deceased client to either make claim as beneficiary of the save deposit, or to re-activate the period of deposit with a monthly surcharge of 6% to be deducted as an Escrow safe keeping fee of the deposit.
All the legal documents to back up your claim as my client's next-of-kin would be provided by me. But I want to know something; CAN I TRUST YOU? Knowing that it is my sincere wish to use this transaction as a tool to establish an enduring relationship with you which will be inherited and reaped by our posterity, so if you assure
me of your trust I will tell you details.
Be informed that this would be done under a legitimate arrangement that would protect both party from any breach of the law.
I wait for your reply.
FINALLY, REPLY STRICTLY ONLY TO MY PRIVATE EMAIL: (email@example.com)