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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Gov" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2016 15:47:28 +0100
Subject: Message from THE AGF!!!
Congratulation! This is to inform you that your inheritance funds valued USD$10.5M has been approved amongst twenty five other foreign beneficiaries and bonded to our affiliate bankers in Europe-FRANCE and MALAYSIA for immediate release. This is due to the strict financial regulations, lots of certifications/transfer back-up documents required in moving funds out of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and most especially United Kingdom-U.K.
Note that this is among our set priorities as a government, in our pursuit for change and good governance. Reference to this development, you are therefore advised without wasting time, to get back to us with your complete information including, your full name and address, telephone number so as to enable us obtain proof of fund letter in your name while we send to you along with the payment schedule letter.
When that is done, we shall send you the information of the bank incharge of your payment to enable you open communication with them without further delay, so they can expedite action on the transfer process accordingly.
Awaiting your prompt reply.
Ahj. Ahmed Idris
The Accountant General of the Federation
(Federal Republic of Nigeria).