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:
- "because it still remains the fastest medium of communication" (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: "Robert Morgan." (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2017 04:35:48 -0500
Compliments and how are you doing today, I sent this letter to you previously without getting any response. I am re-sending it once more hoping it gets to you this time and you confirm your position to enable me to stop any further search. Please note this is not connected with any deceptive intention as you may have anticipated.
My Name is Mr. Robert Morgan, a head teller of Standard Bank Limited. Though, this medium (Internet) has been greatly abused, I choose to reach you through it because it still remains the fastest medium of communication.
I am sending you this email in regard of a deal I want have with you. I want to use you as the Next of kin to My Late Clients Mr. Wang Willysurijanto, Who made a fixed deposit of (FIFTEEN MILLION, TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND BRITISH POUNDS ONLY) in my branch in 2010; he died in Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) on 8 March 2014, without any recorded kin in his official papers. The due date for this deposit contract was 16th of June 2014.
I have sent a routine notification to his address but got no reply after Six months, I sent a reminder and finally discovered from his contract employers that Mr. Wang was among the passenger in Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370/MAS370) that disappeared on 8 March 2014. Right now the money is dormant, Bank management are anxious to know who is the next of kin
All I need is to place your name against the account in the bank system data base since I have the password. And I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. On receipt of your positive response, we shall then discuss the sharing ratio and modalities for the transfer.
Should you be interested? Send me your full names and telephone number to my private Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.