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:
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Juan Diego Mateo" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2017 13:35:16 -0500
Subject: Business opportunity/offer
First, I must solicit your confidence in this transaction, this is by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and top secret.
My name is Juan Diego Mateo, an Attorney to the Late Ms. Elanora Katty Aua from Solomon Islands, I am an Attorney here in Madrid, Spain.
My purpose of contacting you is for you to help me secure the funds left behind by my late client to avoid it being confiscated or the account declared unserviced by her bank, this amount Euro ?5,700.000.00 (Five Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Euros) was deposited in a bank here in Madrid Spain by my late client before her death.
The Bank has issued me with a notice to contact the Next of Kin or the account will be declared unserviced and the fund diverted to the Bank's treasury, So far all my efforts to get hold of someone related to her has proved abortive. This is why i am contacting you now. I am actually asking for your consent to present you to the Bank as the Next of Kin/Beneficiary of my late client's fund, so that the fund in the account will be transferred to you.
All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us achieve this successfully. I wish to point out that I want 10% of this fund to be shared among the charity organizations in your country, while the remaining 90% is shared equally between me and you on 50/50 basis. This proposition is entirely risk free. I will use my position as my late client's Attorney to guarantee the successful execution of this transaction.
Below are all that I require from you.
1. Your Full Contact Address
2. Your Telephone Numbers / Mobile Numbers
3. Your Occupation.
Upon provision of the above information by you, I will present you to my late client's Bank as the Next of Kin/Beneficiary of my late client's fund. I therefore plead with you to provide me with the needed information.
The intended transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you and me from any infraction of the law. Please no other person should know about this, keep it solely private and confidential.
I will be waiting to hear from you as quickly as possible.
Juan Diego Mateo