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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: KENNETH MARK@org.com
Date: 22 Aug 2018 18:28:45 +0300
I Am Kenneth mark,an assistant manager in Bills And Exchange at
the Foreign Remittance department at credit union bank (Bi county
PCT Federal credit union USA ).
Actually, I have a very urgent & confidential Business
Proposition for you & for our overall mutual interest. On the 6th
of March 2003, our Customer, an American National, late Williams
J. Stone, an Oil Merchant / Contractor with the Federal
Government of United state deposited a valued amount of
US$32Million in my branch. Upon maturity, I sent a routine
notification to his forwarded address but got no reply. After a
month we sent a reminder, & finally we discovered from his
contract employers ANPC, that late William J. Stone, until his
death Twelve years ago in a ghastly terrorist attack to American
Airlines Flight 11, from Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles,
California, crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade
Center (WTC) with 86 people on board. All occupants of the
Aeroplane unfortunately lost their lives.
On further Investigation, I found out that he did not leaving a
WILL and all attempts to trace his Next of kin were Fruitless. I
therefore made further investigation and discovered that late
Williams J. Stone, did not declare any Next of kin in all his
official documents. This sum US$32Million is still floating in
the bank and the interest is being rolled over with the principal
sum at the end of each year. No one will come forward to claim
it. According to American Laws, at the expiration of 17years, the
money will revert to the Ownership of the American Government if
nobody applies to claim the funds, The bank manager then asked me
to locate anyone from his home town to repatriate the fund before
the government of United state claims it
Consequently, my proposal is that i will like you as a foreigner
to stand in as a Next of kin of Late Williams J. Stone This is
simple. All I require is your honest and co-operation to enable
us see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed
under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any
breach of the law. I will want you to send to me on your return
email the following information for the transfer in your favor.
1. Your full names as the Beneficiary of the Fund.
2. Your contact address.
3. Your private phone and fax numbers.
Let's consider that our ratio of sharing will be as stated Thus;
1. I as the Originator of the Fund will take 55% of the
2. You as the Manager of the Fund will take 45% of the
Most importantly, CONFIDENTAILITY as what I saw as the life wire
to the success of the transfer of this Fund must have to be
emulated between you and me. You have to use this media to
promise me that you will not in anyway expose the content of this
transaction to anybody be it your Friends, Colleagues and Co-
Workers. I will also want you to send your reply to this email
(email@example.com) as soon as you get this mail to enable
us discuss on the modalities and processes for success of this
transaction. Thanks for your anticipated cooperation and
I wait for your kind response.
Thanks And Remain blessed.