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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Madam Sarah Gonzalez." (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2018 04:14:21 -0800
Subject: SUBJECT TO CONFIRM.
Madam Sarah Gonzalez.
10 Strand Road London Ec9
I am Madam Sarah Gonzalez personal Attorney to Ronald Lake, On the 5th of December 2017 , My client and his wife Joyce Lake were involved in a Plane Crash, all passengers unfortunately lost their lives, since then I have made several enquiries to locate any of my client's extended relatives but this proved unsuccessful.
Since it is not compulsory that the Next-of-Kin must be a blood relation to the deceased, hence I contacted you, be informed that a Next-of-Kin can be anybody, friends or organization etc.
Presently, the Bank ( Unclaimed Asset Reunited Management Firm ) where the deceased ( my client ) had a Deposit valued at US$2,347, 000 000 Million ( Two Million Three Hundred & Forty Seven United States Dollars ) issued me a notice to provide the Next-of-Kin to my client to receive its benefit or have the account confiscated, so I have contacted you to assist me in repatriating this benefit left behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Bank.
To this effect, I now seek your consent to present you to the Bank as the Next-of-Kin of the deceased (my Client) so that the proceeds of this Benefit valued at US$2,347,000 000 Million ( Two Million Three Hundred & Forty Seven United States Dollars ) can be paid to you and then you and I can share it; 60% to me, 30% for you, while 10% should be given to any Orphanage Home.
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.
Please get in touch with me via E-mail: (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the below details immediately you acknowledge the good receipt of this message.
Country of Origin:
Your prompt response is highly imperative.
Madam Sarah Gonzalez.