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:
- ",500,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mustafa Ayvaz" <Mustaf@john.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2019 15:40:01 -0700
Subject: I am glad I found you !!
I am looking for a relative of my deceased client, who lost his life in Syria, during Syrian civil war. I am his personal adviser and I am looking for his next of kin. I want to contact you to work with me in securing the transfer of a fund: $18,500,000.00, legacy by my late client.
I solicit your consent to enable me produce you as the next of kin to my deceased client since both of you bear the same last name. The funds will then be transferred to you as the beneficiary and shared according to a proposed sharing pattern / ratio of 60:40 i.e. 60% for me and 40% for you. Contact me more details.
After which I will send you the details of how the transaction will commence.