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 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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. FRANK WOODWARD" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2018 15:28:24 -0700
Subject: Alerting You
41 SOUTH GYLE CRESCENT
EDINBURG EH12 0BR LONDON
MY NAME IS MR. FRANK WOODWARD, NORTH WEST LONDON , HERE IN ENGLAND.
I WORK FOR BANK OF SCOTLAND LONDON. I AM WRITING FOLLOWING AN OPPORTUNITY IN MY OFFICE THAT WILL BE OF AN IMENSE BENEFIT TO BOTH OF US.IN MY DEPARTMENT WE DISCOVERED AN ABANDONED SUM OF $22.5 MILLION USA DOLLARS (TWENTY-TWO MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND USA DOLLARS) IN AN ACCOUNT THAT BELONGS TO ONE OF OUR FOREIGN CUSTOMERS LATE MR. PAUL LOUIS HALLEY A CITIZEN OF FRANCE WHO OWNS THE FRENCH SUPERMARKET GIANT CARREFOUR. HIS WIFE AND ONLY CHILD WERE INVOLVED IN A GHASTLY MOTOR ACCIDENT THE CHOICE OF CONTACTING YOU IS AROUSED FROM THE GEOGRAPHICAL NATURE OF WHERE YOU LIVE, PARTICULARLY DUE TO THE SENSITIVITY OF THE TRANSACTION.AND THE CONFIDENTIALITY HEREIN.
I PERSONALLY HAS BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL IN LOCATING THE RELATIVES FOR MANY YEARS BECAUSE HE DID NOT MENTIONED ANY NEXT OF KIN AND THE FUNDS HAD BEEN DORMART MANY YEARS AGO, I SEEK YOUR CONSENT TO PRESENT YOU AS THE NEXT OF KIN / WILL BENEFICIARY TO THE DECEASED SO THAT THE PROCEEDS OF THIS ACCOUNT VALUED AT$22.5MILLION DOLLARS CAN BE PAID TO YOU.
THIS WILL BE DISBURSED OR SHARED IN THESE PERCENTAGES, 50% TO ME AND 50% TO YOU.
ALL I REQUIRE NOW IS YOUR HONEST CO-OPERATION, CONFIDENTIALITY AND TRUST TO ENABLE US SEE THIS TRANSACTION THROUGH. I GUARANTEE YOU THAT THIS WILL BE EXECUTED UNDER A LEGITIMATE ARRANGEMENT THAT WILL PROTECT YOU FROM ANY BREACH OF THE LAW.
PLEASE, PROVIDE ME THE FOLLOWING: AS WE HAVE 7 DAYS TO RUN IT THROUGH. THIS IS VERY URGENT PLEASE. KINDLY SEND THE DETAILS BELOW
1. FULL NAME
2. YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER
3. YOUR CONTACT ADDRESS.
4. YOUR OCCUPATION.
5. YOU AGE.
YOUR URGENT RESPONSE WILL BE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED,
MR. FRANK WOODWARD
REMITTANCE/FOREIGN OPERATION MANAGER
BANK OF SCOTLAND, LONDON UK