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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand great british pounds" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "top secret" (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 next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2019 13:15:51 +0800
Investment Portfolio Manager
London Regional Office
UBS Investment Bank London.
My name is Dr. Gilberto Churchill I'm Investment Portfolio Manager at UBS
Investment Bank in London Branch.I decided to seek a confidential co-
operation described with you in the execution of the transaction for both of
our mutual benefit and urge you to keep it as top secret because of the
nature of this transaction. During the examination of the accounts in our
bank, I discovered an abandoned sum of ¢G 15,400,000.00 Fund (Fifteen Million
Four Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds) in an account that one of our
foreign customers(Late Mr.Stephen Richard) is unfortunately lost his life and
family in a plane crash.
After going through his personal file in my bank, I discovered that he died
without their specific to these funds. I like to seek your consent to present
you as the next of kin to the deceased so that the proceeds of this account
valued at fifteen million Four Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds is
estimated to be released to you as the beneficiary, which are divided into
percentage ratio of 60% for me and 40% for you. All I require is your honest
cooperation greatest, trust and utmost confidentiality in order to achieve
this project a success, and I want you to be a part of my share in a
profitable business to invest in your country, I need your advice in the
field of economy, I can invest my share.
I have carefully mapped the modalities for the implementation of this
transaction under a legitimate arrangement to protect you referred by a
violation of the law both in your country and here in London when the fund is
transfer to your bank account. After your review and acceptance of this
offer, please send me the following information below immediately so that we
can continue and preserve the heritage fund transfer to your designated bank
account. Keep this offer as the greatest top secret between you and me for
reasons.I for security got your contact from your country international
business information here in London.
1. Full name:
2. Your residence address:
3. Your Direct Mobile Number:
4. Your fax number:
Contact me via my private email: (firstname.lastname@example.org)