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:
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Tambo Jacob" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2017 16:11:47 +0100
I hope that this mail finds you in good health. I am Mr. Tambo Jacob a
staff of a bank in United Kingdom. One of our accounts, with holding
balance of Â£38,000 000.00 (Thirty Eight million pounds Sterling) has
been dormant and last operated many years ago. Nobody has done
anything as regards the claiming of this money. This is because the
account owner has no family member or friends that are traceable. I
have tried to locate the relations but without success and that is why
I decided to find a reliable partner to move the money with.
My proposition to you is to seek your consent to present you as the
Next of kin and beneficiary of this late client, So that the proceeds
of this account shall be paid to you, and then we can share the amount
on a mutually agreed percentage.
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. The funds will be released to you after
necessary processes have been followed.
I anticipate your cooperation and utmost confidence. Awaiting your
reply stating your willingness.
N/B: send your reply-to < firstname.lastname@example.org >
Mr. Tambo Jacob