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:
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. kwa" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 20 Oct 2019 20:49:27 +0200
Subject: ARE YOU CAPABLE?
I am Kwame Issan, presently the current Manager of National Westminster Bank Capital (London. I need a reliable and honest person to handle a very confidential transaction. If you have a solid business project plan of making good profit in any viable business sector in your Country, please write me back for business co-operation. I have USD$10.2M which was realized from an oil Merchant /contractor, before his sudden death some years ago which we can use for investment or establishing a profitable company/ business.
I made sure this money was saved successfully with instruction waiting for a perfect period to get a good and reputable person that can assist me to transfer the money out from this country for business investment.
I am assuring you 100% free involvement from any risk. Your share would be 30% of the total amount. While the rest 70% would be for me, which I can invest in your country. Kindly get back to me if you are capable and ready.
National Westminster Bank