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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "million dollars" (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: "FDS BHO" <email@example.com>
Date: 18 Sep 2019 10:29:45 +0200
Subject: RE: REPLY SOON
Attn : My Dear
I found your email address firstname.lastname@example.org similar to our late
client email address so I decide to contact you. i will present
both email address to the bank director that both of you use same
similar email address as owners of same company so you can assist
on this transaction.
I am Mr.Thomas Gary an account operator to late Mr.Micheal H with
same email address as yours email@example.com. He is 52yrs old,
a nationality of your country who unfortunately died on a car
accident dated 7th August 2016 along Edinburgh Park. Since the
death of Mr.Micheal H, I as his account operator have made
several inquiries to locate his relations to come up for the
inheritance claim, without any success.
I am contacting you to assist in securing the wealth left behind
in a fixed deposit account by my late client before they get
confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where my late
client operates an account. The board of Directors of the bank
has issued me a notice that after 2 months from now and no
relation shown up for the claiming of the said funds, the funds
will be confiscated and declared unserviceable.
Since The board of Directors of the bank have been unsuccessful
in locating my client relatives for sometime now, it's on this
note that I seek your consent to present you as the relation/next
of kin to my late client that the proceed of this deposit can be
released into your account. The amount deposited $7.5 Million
Dollars also I believed with interest($7.500.000.00 USD) I will
agree with you on 60% for you while 40% for me.
I guarantee that this transaction will be executed under a
legitimate arrangement which will protect you from any breach of
Upon your response, furnish me with:
Your full name and address
Your telephone and fax numbers
Your occupation and age
As soon as I receive all these information from you I will
present it to the bank Directors that I have locate the relation
to my late client since they asked that I should provide the next
of kin for them to release the inheritance fund.
Let me hear from you once you acknowledge my email.
I'm at your service,
HSBC FINANCE DEPARTMENT SERVICE (FDS BHO)
Tel: +1 4045966532