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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Gerhard" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 23 Nov 2019 19:44:37 +0100
Subject: Good Day
I hope this message finds you and your family in good health. I am Dr. Gerhard, a Germany based Lawyer. I got your contact information from your local directory while searching for same nationality with my late client, an expatriate engineer who worked with a Construction & Civil Engineering Company (BAUER Group) here in Germany for Sixteen years.
He died with his family in a car accident, which occurred Saturday, July 18, 2015. Before his death, he has deposited a total sum of US$6,000,000 (Six Million USD) with a bank here in Europe. Recently, the Bank contacted me requesting that I should notify the next of kin of my late client or relative to claim this funds or else the bank account will be confiscated and the money diverted to the treasury of the bank as unclaimed funds. So far, all my efforts to get hold of someone related to my client were fruitless.
In this context, I want to introduce you to the Bank as a close relative or beneficiary of the fund since both of you have the same nationality, in this way, the fund will be transferred to you. I will use my position as his lawyer to make you the next of kin to my client. I have all the documents concerning the deposit with me and I shall also procure other legal documents that will make our claim authentic and facilitate the release of fund to you as the true and only surviving maternal relative to my late client.
You and I can share this money, you will be entitled to 50% of the total funds for your role, while the balance 50% will be for me. Please know that there is no risk involved because everything will be done under a clear and legitimate process.
All I require is your sincerity, honesty, co-operation and utmost good faith to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you and I from any violation of the law.
We can both use this money to better the lives of our family instead of been confiscated by the Bank. Great opportunities like this never come twice. Be rest assured that in approximately two weeks the deal will be completed if we dedicate our time to it.
If you are interested, send me the following details
1. Your Name in Full:
2. Your Address:
3. Your Occupation:
4. Your Nationality:
5. Mobile number:
6. Your Age:
7. Your Gender:
However, if this offer offends your moral ethics, do accept my sincere apology and delete this message from your mailbox without disclosing it to anybody but If you wish to achieve this goal with me, kindly send me the above information for further explanations.