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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: PHILIP LAWRENCE <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 07 Sep 2019 23:38:36 +0800
I write to seek for your indulgence on a US$9.7Million deal, I am an
Insurance agent by profession, this funds was supposed be paid to my
late client as Life Assurance policy, he died interstate without any
next of kin in case of eventuality and now the paying institution has
mandated me as the agent that I present the next of kin to this funds
from now till second week of November after which the government will
Due to the fact you have a similar last name with him and With the
papers in my possession, I will make you the sole beneficiary to this
payment by submitting your credentials to the bank as the next of kin
after which you and I will share it equally among ourselves than leaving
this opportunity for other insurance agents to benefit or allowing it
paid into the government coffers as unclaimed policy.