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:
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "ANDY" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2018 17:38:14 -0800
Subject: I AWAIT YOUR URGENT RESPONSE
I am a Principal Asset Manager in one of the leading international banks. I respectfully seek your sincere consent in this profitable proposal that i will explain to you.
Nine (9) years ago, precisely on Nov 6th, 2008, an Expatriate Oil consultant/contractor with a Chinese mineral cooperation, deposited a numbered sum of Twenty Million United States Dollars(20,000,000 USD) in my branch valid for twelve calender months. We did not hear from him since then.
However On further inquiries we found out He was involved in an accident which means he died intestate, All paper works in my bank revealed that he did not declare any next of kin or relations. This means that no one will ever come for this money since its been nine years. I can be able to make you the beneficiary of these funds.
For all your troubles I propose that we split the money in half. Once I get your willingness and response I will give you further information on this huge deal, What I require is that you DO NOT betray my confidence.
We should act swiftly on this if we are going to achieve it.
I wait your urgent response