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 next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: ALEX MCCANN <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2019 10:50:48 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Good day,
This is a personal email directed to you and I request that it be treated as such. I am Alex McCann,a solicitor at law. I am the personal attorney/sole executor to the late Mr Edward , hereinafter referred to as 'my client' who worked as an independent oil magnate in my country and who died in a car crash with his immediate family on the 4th of Oct,2014 Since the death of my client in Oct,2014, I have written several letters to the embassy with an intent to locate any of his extended relatives whom shall be claimants/beneficiaries of his abandoned personal estate and all such efforts have been to no avail.
More so,I have received official letters in the last few weeks suggesting a likely proceeding for confiscation of his abandoned personal assets in line with existing laws by the bank in which my client deposited of the sum of $14.5M,(Fourteen Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars only)On this note i decided to search for a credible person and finding that you bear a similar last name, I decided to contact you, that I may,with your consent, present you to the"trustee"bank as my late client's surviving family member so as to enable you put up a claim to the bank in that capacity as a next of kin of my client. I find this possible for the fuller reasons that you bear a similar last name with my client making it a lot easier for you to put up a claim in that capacity.I propose that 50% of the net sum will accrue to you at the conclusion of this deal in so far as I do not incur further expenses.
Therefore, to facilitate the immediate transfer of this fund, you need, first to contact me via Email and send me your phone number signifying
your interest and as soon as I obtain your confidence, I will immediately appraise you with the complete details as well as send you the documents,with which you are to proceed and i shall direct on how to put up an application to the bank.
Upon the receipt of your reply, I will send you by fax or E-mail the next step to take.I will not fail to bring to your notice that this proposal is hitch-free and that you should not entertain any fears as the required arrangements have been made for the completion of this transfer.Like I have implied, I require only a solemn confidentiality on this.