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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "DAVID LAMBERT" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2017 11:59:13 +0200
Subject: Your Kind Consideration.
South Quay Plaza
183 Marsh Wall
Do accept my sincere apologies if my mail does not meet your personal ethics.
I would like to introduce myself, I am David Lambert and I work with the
staff in the accounts management section of a well-known bank here in the
One of our accounts is holding a balance of GBP48,375,000 (Forty Eight
million, Three Hundred and Seventy Five Great British Pounds) and has been
dormant for some years now. From my investigations and confirmations, the
owner of this account died on the 16th of February 1999 in an autocrash in
Birmingham, here in the UK.
Since then no one has responded in anyway with regards to claiming the funds.
As far as we can tell he has no family member that is aware of the existence
of either the account or the funds. Information from the United Kingdom Border
Agency also states that he was single on entry into the UK.
I have confidentially discussed this issue with some of the bank officials
and we have agreed to find a reliable partner to deal with us. We thus propose
to do business with you, standing in as the next-of-kin. We will process these
funds from the deceased and release them to you, after due processes have been
This transaction is totally risk free as the funds is legitimate and devoid of
any illegal/illicit activity. Please think this over and should you be interested,
do let me hear from you ASAP.