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))
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: 'SMITH LAW'<Marklegal.firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 27 Jun 2019 17:01:47 -0400
Subject: email@example.com,LAST & FINAL WARNING NOTICE!!!
It is good to be in contact with you even though this medium of
communication has been grossly abused by impostors and criminal
minded people thereby making it difficult for people with
struggle to correspond and exchange views without skepticism.
United Kingdom's Treasury Department receives over Â£10bn every
year from unclaimed estates; forgotten funds; abandoned shares
and dormant accounts because beneficiaries of deceased families
are not being located to lay claim to funds left in the bank.
This letter is a final warning notice regarding the death of my
Late client Edward,wife and only daughter while on holiday at
Louisiana USA in the August 2005 Atlantic hurricane Katrina
disaster. According to the laws of England and Wales, section 46
of the Administration of Estates Act of 1925 (with subsequent
amendments). My late client's bank has issued me a Final written
notice to provide his next-of-kin within 7 days or have his
declared UNCLAIMED and sent into government treasury.
I have been in charge of managing his properties here in London
for a long time. There were some of his properties put out for
sale before his death,for which payment has since been made. The
proceeds of the sale is deposited into his local account here. I
found your name in some of his documents and that is why I
your email through an advanced search.
I am contacting you because you bear the same last-name with my
late client.I want to know if you are in anyway related to my
late client. I await your prompt response, Regards,