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:
- "huge deposit" (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)
- "chambers" (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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Andrew Dell"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 18:25:04 -0700
Subject: RE:Check My Proposal
Mr. Andrew Dell
85 Maude Street
I am Mr. Andrew Dell, a banker to Late Mr. Andrian Vasile, a national of =
your country (ROMANIA), and a Gold Merchant here in South Africa. Here in a=
fter shall be Referred to as my client. On 27th May 2010, my client, His wi=
fe and their only Child were involved in a car accident. All occupants of t=
he vehicle unfortunately lost their lives. Since then I have made several i=
nquiries to locate any of my clients extended relatives to act as next of k=
in to his funds in a bank here in South Africa and this attempt has proved =
to be unsuccessful.
After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to track His last name=
over the Internet and failed again, I went to the Johannesburg chambers of=
commerce and the department of trade and industry to seek information of p=
eople with same last name.
With the information I got from the brochure at the above offices, I decide=
d to write and mail you this letter.
I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the money behind by my clien=
t before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank here. T=
hese huge deposits were lodged particularly, with the" HSBC Johannesburg So=
uth Africa=94 A prime commercial Bank. Where my client had an account value=
d at about US$ 11 million. The Bank has issued a notice to provide the next=
of kin or have the account forwarded to the federal treasury.
Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 3 years n=
ow, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased s=
ince you have the same last name, so that the proceeds of this account valu=
ed at US$11 million can be paid to you. I will procure all necessary legal =
documents that can be used to back up any claim we may make, as I have work=
ed in the same branch in the past and still have colleagues there. I intend=
to offer you 45% of the total sum.
All I require is your honest cooperation to enable this deal through. I gu=
arantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will=
protect you from any breach of the law.
Please contact me on the above telephone and email address for better expl=
anation, if you have interest on the deal.