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:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Pastor Jushua Martins" < <">"@mail.egtchina.com>
Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2017 09:20:13 -0700
Subject: URGENT ATTENTION NEEDED
Dearly Beloved Friend
My name is Pastor Jushua Martins .Accept my sincere apology for this unsolicited letter to you, I am aware that this is certainly not a conventional way of approach to establish a relationship of trust but you will realize the need for my action.
As a pastor ,i also work with one of the leading Banks here in Africa .i was recently appointed a regional manager to (Union Bank PLC) one of the leading Banks here in my country .
I am contacting you in regards to my deceased congregant who was a reputable customer to the bank, i manage regionally. While my congregant/customer was alive , i operated/managed and guided him on the operation of the account which he deposited a huge sum of money but unfortunately he was diagnosed of a life threatening illness ( Cancer of the blood ) which took his life afterwards , May his soul continue to Rest In Peace .
I wish to seek your assistance for the transfer of US$8.5 Million Dollars into any of your nominated bank account abroad ,This is because you bear the same SURNAME with my deceased congregant/customer. Are you in anyway related to him ?
But even if you are not in anyway related to him ,please and please ,i wish to seek your assistance for the transfer of his depository before the money get confiscated by our government as according to our banking policy.
i have made several enquirers to the embassy to locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has proved unsuccessful. After several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to trace his relatives over the internet, so as to locate any member of his family .
This money in the bank cannot be approved to a local bank account holder here in my country , but can only be approved to a foreigner like you because our deceased customer was a foreigner like you and a British Citizen . Should you be able to stand as next of kin to this fund, it will be shared 50%/50%, as this is a TWO-MAN transaction.
I need your assistance and co-operation to this reality as I have done my Home-work and fine tune the best way to create you as the beneficiary of the fund. My position as the Regional manager of the Union bank will be used to advance this deal.
I shall provide you with more details and relevant documents that will help you understand the transaction.
I have the certificate of deposit that will be used to back up our claim , More so My Attorney will prepare all the necessary documents and affidavit which will put you in place as the next of kin. The Attorney will draft and carry out the notarization of the WILL and also obtain the necessary documents and letter of probate/administration in your favor for the claim. .
All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see the deal through.I guarantee you that this transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please get in touch with me by private email (firstname.lastname@example.org) .
Please and please i beg you in the name of our Lord not to take this for granted considering my post as a pastor /religious leader .
i need you to stand as next of kin and claim this fund ,so i can use my own share to help the church,Invest and also help the less privilege here in Africa Eg motherless and the fatherless and beggars instead of leaving the fund in the bank as unclaimed funds.This is important because the suffering and economic crisis in the world now
i await your reply
Pastor Jushua Martins