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.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: DEBT RECOVERY COMMITTEE <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2018 13:47:01 -0000
Subject: Get Back To Me,
DEBT RECOVERY COMMITTEE
FUND CLEARING HOUSE LONDON
UNCLAIMED FUND NOTIFICATION
I am Mrs Susan Kerry of the Debt Recovery committee(DRC) My committee
has the mandate to recover unpaid debts associated with contracts,
lottery fund,inheritance fund, loans and grants etc ranging from $ 1M-
$ 19.5m owed to various beneficiaries across the globe (Asia, Europe,
USA, Africa, and Australia) and submit the list of the unpaid
beneficiaries to the appointed official paying Banks for immediate
payment of the fund.
In the course of our investigation, your email address/particulars
were listed among the first fifteen yet to be paid hence this
email.However, we received a petition yesterday from one Mrs.Christina
Morgan that you are dead. According to her,you died in a plane crash
therefore that the fund be paid to her as the heir apparent.She has
submitted her Bank account with FNB for the transfer of the fund to
To avoid undue delay or paying the fund to wrong beneficiary,I have
decided to contact you for confirmation.If I fail to hear from you
after 72 hours,it will be assumed the petition of Mrs.Morgan is true
and the fund will be paid to her without further delay.
Therefore,if you are still alive,reconfirm your particulars as stated
below and send immediately,
1. Full Name: ____________________________
2. Address: ______________________________
3. Nationality: ____________ Sex___________
4. Date of Birth: ________
5. Occupation: ___________________________
6. Phone: _______ _____________________
Mrs Susan Kerry
Fund Clearing House.