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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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:
Date: Tue, 05 Sep 2017 00:42:33 -0700
Subject: MESSAGE FROM CORRIS BANK ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGEMENT BOARD
Dear Friend ,
I am personal representative to my Late Client Eng John, A national of your country, and the CEO of his own Construction Company here in Benin Republic West Africa. On the 30th of May 2011, my client, His wife and their only daughter were involved in a car accident Along express-high way, Unfortunately, they all lost their lives.
I have made several inquiries to your embassy to locate any of my clients extended relatives but this has proved Unsuccessful. Before his death the Ministry of public works Benin (MTPT) is owing him the
sum of Ten Million Eight Hundred Thousand United States Dollar Only)
US$10.800.000 Only, for a contract he executed for the Ministry before his death. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to track His last name over the Internet, to locate any member of his
Family hence I contacted you. I have contacted you to assist in Repatriating this money from the Ministry (MTPT )before the money and property he left behind gets confiscated by the Ministry as unclaimed
I want to present you as the next of kin for the inheritance fund transfer to your account for onward sharing between the both of us 50% to you and 50% for me. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. to enable me give you more details.Please kindly reply through my private email box for more information, firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Full Name and Address,
Your Age : Occupation and Position,
Your Private Email : Address
Your Telephone and Mobile for Communication Purpose
I await your reply via my private email: email@example.com