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:
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Woods" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2018 23:11:23 -0000
Subject: Attn: Please,
Attn: Please ,
I crave your indulgence for the unsolicited nature of this letter, but
it was borne out of desperation and current development. Please bear
My name is Mr Glenn Woods,the Director incharge of Auditing section of
a Bank in Asia. I discovered existing dormant account.
I seek your consent to present yourself as the next of kin of the
deceased. As an auditor in the bank I will use my position in the bank
to help you stand as the next of kin to the deceased, so that the
proceeds of this account valued at ($9 Million) dollars can be
transferred to you, this is the story in a nutshell.
I will send you full details on how the business will be executed and
also note that you will receive 45% of the above mentioned amount if you
agree to help me execute this business.
I expect your urgent response with much anticipation!!!!!!!
Thanks and remain bless.
Mr Genn Woods.