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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Edwards Alexander (Esq)" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 10 May 2018 14:15:20 -0700
Good day Sir/Madam,
I'm Mr. Edward Alexander of Alexander Attorneys, we specialize in corporate and legal claims. I am contacting you in regards to a deceased client who died in an auto accident in Cape Town, South Africa in March 2014, He was a citizen of your country U.S.A and share the same last name with you.
Before her death, my client had USD 52,750,000.00 (Fifty Two million seven hundred & fifty thousand dollars), with a financial institution here in South Africa; In view of the South African Law of Succession, claims of this nature can only be made by a surviving relative/ family member. Unfortunately he had no will at the time of death. All efforts made through some Private Investigators in South Africa have revealed no link to any of his family member, but your name came up because you share same last name.
With the applicable law of succession there is a duration within which such claims must be applied for, and as a result I am under pressure to present the next of kin or a relative who will claim the funds, and failure to do this would legally allow the financial institution to report the funds to the South African Treasury as unclaimed funds Lack of supersede. It is therefore my intention to introduce you as the next of kin/beneficiary, Please note that I'm legally equipped with all necessary information/documentations concerning the funds.
Edwards Alexander (Esq)