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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "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: JOHN DOUGLAS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2018 18:45:28 +0100
Subject: GOOD NEWS
*Baltimore Main Office120 E Baltimore St.Baltimore, MD 21202 United
I hope you are doing fine.
I am John Douglas,I work with the Suntrust Bank Baltimore Main
I wish to place your name as the beneficiary of US$15,000,000.00(Fifteen
Million United States Dollars) only due to the death of the depositor who
died years ago along with his family.
I have audited the account and no one stands as a next of kin after the
dead of the customer.
The bank will soon divert it to their personal treasury as unclaimed funds
if no one stands to claim the funds.
I will not like the funds to go that way hence with my position in this
bank and the only person that knows about these funds in the bank as the
auditor/account, I want to transfer it out of the bank.
I want us to do this deal together and have the funds and share it 40% for
you, 50% for me and 10% to reimburse ourselves in case of any expenses we
may incur in the process of this transaction.
However, i assure you that this transaction will be executed under a
legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law
once the funds is transferred to your bank account.
The funds I am referring to is right here in this bank floating in suspense
account, therefore I solicit that you be in collaboration with me to have
this done, it will be transferred into an account you will provide any
where in the world.
I will need you to provide the following information urgently to enable the
attorney start the processing of all the relevant legal documents for the
6) Occupation Status:
I await your prompt response.
Suntrust Bank, Baltimore Main Office