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:
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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: "Info" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2017 10:52:44 +0100
Subject: investment Funds //Revert for Details
STRICTLY PRIVATE BUSINESS PROPOSAL
I am Dr Sheriff M. The Manager Bills and Exchange at the Foreign
Remittance Department of one of the prime banks in London United Kingdom
I got your esteemed contact through a bulletin i sourced from Internet
I am writing this letter to ask for your support and co-operation to
carry out this Business opportunity in my department. We discovered an
abandoned sum of Seventy Five Million Great British Pounds
Sterling(GBP75.000.000.00) in an account that belongs to one of our
foreign customers who died along with his entire family 0n Monday,31
July,2000, in a plane crash.
FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT THIS SITE BELOW:
Since we heard of his death, we have been expecting his next of kin to
come and put claims for his money as the heir, because we cannot release
his fund from his account unless someone applies for the claim as the next
of kin to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines.
Unfortunately, neither their family member nor distant relative has ever
appeared to claim the said fund. Upon this discovery, I and other official
in my department have agreed to make business with you by giving you all
the vital information's you need to file a claim to the Bank for the
release and Transfers of the Money to your account as the Next of Kin to
the late account Holder
We have agreed that our ratio of sharing will be as thus: 25% net for you
as foreign partner, 75% net for us . I wish to inform and assure you that
this Business is 100% Risk free and secured but needs to remind you that
it shall be kept very confidential in order not to jeopardize this
process.I want you to know that without anybody applying for the Money for
a certain period the Money shall be Confiscated by the Bank as unclaimed
Looking forward to receiving your response as soon as you receive.
Dr Sheriff M.
Contact me through this email email@example.com for further details