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:
- "million 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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Samuel UDO" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2016 08:21:22 -0400 (CDT)
Subject: I NEED YOUR RESPONSE OF MY PROPOSAL!!!!
>From Mr.Samuel UDO,
Account Audits Department,
Treat this as Confidential!!
I am Mr.Samuel UDO, A Bank Staff, Executive Director Account Audits
Department, after our audits of the year 2015, I discover a Total Sum of
USD21.6 Million Dollars in abandoned account by deceased customer and
there is no next of kin to it, please i did not let my bank to know yet
because i want to put your name as the next of kin through my lawyer. I
want to put your name as the next of kin to the fund and present you to
my bank so that you will claim the money out from my bank to a safe
oversea bank account which you will provide to receive it,i will invest
my share into real estate hotel, or factory in your country or you can
introduce a lucrative moveable business that one can have good profits on
it in your country. If you are interested in this partnership business
get back to me with below details . Note that no risk is attached to this
as it is 100% risk free and the percentage sharing will be 70/30, 70% for
me 30% for you.
Means of ID______
In return of this massage by indicating your interest my lawyer with start
the process of the transfer immediately. Respond to my private email
(firstname.lastname@example.org).Regarding the percentage sharing, 30% of the
total fund's is for you while 70% will be for me and any expenses will be
removed first before sharing of the funds and note that this deal has to
be Confidential between you my lawyer and I only.
Awaiting your response.