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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "million pounds" (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: "Alex Morgan" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2016 16:16:28 +0530
Subject: Great Opportunity
From: Alex Morgan
Wilfred Brown Building Uxbridge
London UB8 3BH England.
I am Alex Morgan, personal account manager of late Mr. William Oakland, national of your country, who used to work with BP oil London United Kingdom limited, here in UK. Saturday, October 23rd, 2010, my client, his wife and their three children were involved in car accident which took his life and his entire Family, I hate to remember this incident but God knows the best.
Since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy to locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to do some research on the internet business website, to locate any member of his family. That is why I contacted you to assist me in repatriating the money and property left behind by my late client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank. The said Bank is in United Kingdom, a Commercial Bank where plenty of rich people tend to hide away funds not ready to be used or invested.
The Bank has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin to my late client or have the Account confiscated within the next month.
Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives of my late client for year
Your help will be appreciated with 40% and 50% to me, while 10% will be used for expenses; I use this opportunity to seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased, so that the proceeds of this account valued at 7.3 Million Pounds Sterling can be transferred into your account.
I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please accept my apologies, keep my confidence and disregard this letter if you do not appreciate this proposition I have offered you.
Thank you very much for your understanding.
Mr. Alex Morgan
NB: You can also reach me through this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org