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:
- "huge deposit" (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: Patricia Levi <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 10 Aug 2019 06:39:34 +0800
Subject: CAYMAN NATIONAL BANK (CAYMAN ISLAND)
Firstly I apologize for encroaching into your privacy in this manner as it may seem unethical though it is a matter of great importance.
I am Mrs Patricia Levi, I work with Cayman National Bank (Cayman Islands) Ltd. I am contacting you because my status would not permit me to do this alone as it is concerning our customer and an investment placed under our bank's management five (5) years ago.
I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail confidential and respect the integrity of the information you come by as a result of this mail.
It's in respect of my late client that have a huge deposit with my bank. I would like to present you as the next of kin since you both are from the same country and my bank have mandated me to provide a next of kin to my late client deposit as his account officer.
Please kindly get back to me for more details if I can trust you.
Mrs Patricia Levi