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:
- "hundred thousand great british 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Brendan Nelson" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2017 22:57:51 +0100
Subject: Expecting a positive reply from you.
How are you today and your family? I hope all are in good condition; I am Mr Brendan Nelson, working as the Head of Group Audit Committee Department of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) here in London Branch, England United Kingdom. I am writing you about a business proposal that will be of immense and mutual benefit for both of us.
It might interest you to know that in my department, being the head of group audit department, I discovered an abandoned Sum of 16,500,000.00 (Sixteen Million Five Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds Sterling) in an account that Belongs to one of our deceased foreign customer, I seek your consent to present you to the bank as the next of kin of the deceased so that the proceeds of this account valued at GBP 16.5 million can be paid to you as an investment fund and this deal will be divided in this ratio: 55% for me and 45% for you.
Having gone through a methodical search, I decided to contact you hoping that you will find this proposal interesting. Please on your confirmation of this message and indicating your interest, I will furnish you with more information.
Endeavour to let me know your decision rather than keeping me waiting.
Thanking you in anticipation for your favourable and positive reply.