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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million dollars" (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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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: "Mrs.Kate Tony " <"O.C.N.1."@bell.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mrs.Kate Tony " <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:02:57 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Attention Dear
I am JOHN EDWARD, I work with a reputable financial institution in United State of American,Bank Address 111 Ballanard Ave,Pitman New Jessey08071,FULTON BANK OF NEW JERSEY as an Account Officer in the Treasury/Credit Control Unit. I was
mandated to look for a Customer who died some years back in Westgate
shopping mall attack by Al-Shabaab terror attack, on 23rd September 2013
to enable his family, friends or relatives claim his inheritance funds.
I have been searching for the relatives of my late client, but I could not
find any so I decided to contact you regardless of the fact that you are not
indirect relative, for them not to share his funds by dividing it amongst
I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the assets and Capital
valued at 12,540,000.00 Million Dollars(USD), I assure you that this
transaction is 100% risk free The money will be shared on a 50-50 basis I
guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that
will protect you from any breach of the law.
Kindly reply to our private emails to enable you proceed with this claim.
I am waiting to hear from you soon.