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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Willy Kabba." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2017 22:20:56 -0800
Subject: Dear Sir,
I am Willy Kabba, the accountant personal confident to Dr. Ravindra F.
Shah who died together with his wife Dr. Mrs.Manjula Parikh-Shah in a
plane crash on the 1st Oct.2003 on their way to attend wedding in
Boston.Dr.Ravindra F.Shah,is an American, a physician and
industrialist,he died without having any beneficiary to his assets
including his account here in Burkina Faso which he opened in one of
the Bank in the year 2000 as his personal savings for the purpose of
expansion and development of his company before his untimely death in
The amount involved is (USD 10,500,000.00) Ten Million Five Hundred
Thousand USD,no other person knows about this account, I am contacting
you for us to transfer this funds to your account as the beneficiary,)
but I don't know any foreigner, I am only contacting you as a
foreigner because this money can not be approved to a local person
Reply urgently so that I will inform you the next step to take before
we get this fund. urgently.