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:
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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: "Yang Yeo" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2018 10:49:14 -0700
Subject: Good Day Please Get Back To Me
I sincerely hope this letter finds you in good health and bearing in mind that this is my first letter, I would be very brief. I write to request for your partnership in investing in Real Estate and Property in your country. I am the lawyer, trustee and executor of the Estate to a deceased client.
My client, late Daniel Jones died of Heart failure a few months ago and until his death was a contractor with the Murphy Oil Corporation Sabah, Malaysia. His heart-threatening conditions started immediately after the loss of his wife and two daughters in a ghastly automobile accident while they were on holidays in Brazil and since then he has suffered this deadly ailment which eventually he did not survive. He left behind US$12,800,000.00 (Twelve Million Eight Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) in a safe deposit box in a Finance Company herein Malaysia. His sudden death has left him with no time to appoint a next of kin to his safe deposit box and for this reason I contact you.
The Director of the Finance Company has requested me as his lawyer and trustee to present them with an heir apparent to his deposits and I would like to introduce you as his heir apparent to enable the finance company transfer his deposit in-cash with them to your account and thereafter, we shall share the proceeds as partners. All legal documents to back up claims as heir apparent would be duly secured by me and presented to you accordingly. All I require is your sincerity of purpose to enable us execute this transaction successfully with the belief that you would not betray me now or after the money is transferred to your account. This transaction would be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will neither breach nor go contrary to international regulatory laws.
Furthermore, I shall provide you with more information regarding my plan to transfer the funds after I receive your acceptance to partner with me in this transaction and please hold this information highly confidential for now until after the successful transfer of funds to your account. I therefore await your prompt response to ensure we commence immediately to secure the necessary legal documents which would enable us request the finance company to transfer the funds to your account, my secure email and telephone number is given below, kindly contact me accordingly.