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:
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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: Adrian Frost <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Adrian Frost <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2019 10:45:15 +0000 (UTC)
FROM DR. ADRIAN FROST
Artemis Fund Investment Ltd.
Cassini House, 57 St James's Street London,,SW1A 1LD.
Web Site: www.artemis.co.uk
My Private Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
My Private : Tel: +447451223051
My name is Adrian Frost, the Fund Manager of Artemis Fund Investment Ltd London office. My client, who died recently during the eastern city of Benghazi insurgency, made a fixed deposit of Â£14,300 .000.00 Fourteen million, three hundred thousand British Pounds in my branch.
From investigations, he did not declare any next of kin, so I need you as a foreigner to act as the next of kin to get this fund for us because the funds will revert to the UK Treasury if nobody comes forward. My anticipated percentages for sharing shall be fair enough 55% for me, 45% for you.
Please, be inform that we shall commence processing of claims of payment once I receive your interest from you, and the funds will get into your account within Five (5) working days by Telegraphic Transfer (T.T).
Note that this transaction is 100% risk free as long as I am involve. Do acknowledge the receipt of this letter by indicating your interest in this transaction with your direct contact details such as your telephone and fax numbers for easy communication.
Dr. Adrian Frost