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:
- 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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "is 100% risk-free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Felix Godfrey" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 02 Jun 2016 14:47:31 -0500
Subject: I NEED AN URGENT ATTENTION PLEASE
Greeting From London,
The internet has been grossly abused by scam artist and miscreants whose
intention is to hurt. In as much as one should be careful, same time we
should not allow negative to kill the positive potential in a realistic
business, please read my proposal carefully is 100% Risk-free.
My name is Mr.Felix Godfrey, the Branch manager Barclay Bank Of London,
married with three children. I am writing this letter to ask for your
support and co-operation to carry out this business opportunity in my
department. After annual audit Last month in my branch I discover
documents of a late client Mr. Andreas Scanner A German business magnate
who made a numbered fixed deposit with this branch valued $12M (Twelve
Million United State Dollars,) and I was lucky to have the scan
documents with me in save position. I discovered from his contract
employers, the Petroleum Corporation that Mr. Andreas Scanner, died in
the plane crash Monday, 31 July 2000, (an air France jet liner) with his
entire family and other passengers on board as you can confirm it
yourself via the website below for (BBC NEWS:
According to British Banking Board of Control (BBC), and the British
Government in Council On Banking law after the expiration of 14
(fourteen ) years, if nobody apply for the claim it will confiscate as
state treasury if nobody apply for the claim, I am seeking for your
support to stand as next of kin/ beneficiary to claim these funds so
that we move it into useful investments, I am ready to share with you
40% for you and 60% will be kept for me, You will provide offshore Bank
Account where the funds will be transferred to reason while I am
contacting you is because I cannot stand in the forefront to claim the
funds alone because I am currently working with the bank, reply to my
private E-mail( firstname.lastname@example.org )
I will like you to provide me with the following details if you are
(1) Your Valid Direct Tel/ Mobile/Fax Number.
(2) Your Full Name:
(3) Current Resident Address.
(4) Your Private E-mail Address.
(5) Your Occupation:
(6) Your Age and Sex:
(7) Your Nationality:
Then i shall furnish you with due process of concluding this transaction
without any delay. please discard this message if you are not
interested. One Passionate appeal, i will make to you is not to discuss
this matter with anybody, if you have any reasons to reject this offer,
please and please destroy this message as any Leakage of this
information will be too bad for me at my work place as the Branch
Manager Barclay Bank Of London, here in London England.
Thanks for your kind understanding.
Mr. Felix Godfrey
Barclay Bank Of London,