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:
- 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:
- "million 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- 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: "Andrew Vellu" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2016 10:16:35 -0700
Subject: FROM LLOYD'S BANK
Please accept my sincere apologizes if my email does not meet your business or personal ethics. I will first introduce myself as ,Mr Andrew Vellu the Chief Risk Officer with Llyod's Bank
One of our accounts, with holding balance of usd $25,000,000 (Twenty-Five Million United States Dollars) has been dormant and last operated 4 years ago. From my investigations and confirmation, the owner of the said account, a foreigner by name Mr Satoshi Nagata died on the 24th of March 2015 in a plane crash in North-West of Nice in the French Alps,The Airbus A320 operated by Germanwings.
Since then, nobody has done anything as regards the claiming of this money, as he has no family member that has any knowledge as to the existence of either the account or the funds and also Information from the National Immigration also states that he was single on entry into UK.
I have confidently discussed this issue with some of the Bank Officials and we have agreed to find a reliable foreign partner to deal with. We therefore propose to do business with you, standing in as the next of kin of these funds from the deceased and funds released to you after necessary processes have been followed.
This transaction is totally free of risk and troubles as the fund is legitimate and does not originate from drug, money laundry, terrorism or any other illegal act.kindly reply to my private email (firstname.lastname@example.org)