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:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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: David Candy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2017 22:59:00 +0100 (CET)
Subject: Top Urgent
My, name is Mr. David Candy. i work with one of the leading Banks here in
Benin republic. I would need your consent to present you as the next of kin to
our late customer who died of heart attack in 2014. He was a wealthy business
man who deposited a huge amount in our Bank. He died without any registered
kin as he was long divorced and had no child.
I was his account officer and have in my possession all the documents required
to present you as his beneficiary next of kin. I contacted you because you
have same name identity with our late client and can perfectly fit in as next
of kin, We can work together to claim this fund. Please listen, this is real
and goes on in Banks all over the world without people knowing. Let us utilize
this opportunity because it does not come always. A lot of customers open
private accounts with different Banks without the knowledge of their families
and when they die, such money will be lost to the Bank unless someone comes to
claim it. This is how a lot of Bank Directors make so much money silently
On your confirmation of this message and indicating your interest, I will
furnish you with more details. Please endeavor to provide me with the following
that we can discuss in details
1) mobile phone numbers
2) full name
3) contact address and country
4) your ID card
Now, if you are interested and really sure of your trustworthy, accountability
and confidentiality on this transaction without disappointment, you can
contact me using my private email: (email@example.com)
Our sharing ratio will be 50% for me and 40% for you, While 10% will be for the
necessary expenses that might occur along
I urgently hope to get your response as soon as possible
Mr. David Candy