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:
- 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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Dare Addy"<email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2019 06:26:18 -0800
Subject: Re: Notification!!!
My name is Dare Addy the manager of audit & accounts department Naxitis Bank London.
I used to be the personal account manager to our late bank customer who died in an auto crash in Westminster, London with his entire family early this year; before his death, he had funds deposit of £12,500,000.00 GBP (Twelve Million Five Hundred Thousand British Pounds Sterling) with us.
This fund was meant for an urgent cash investment; hence it was kept in our vault. In view of the necessity to implementing the banking regulations on the inheritance claim, as he the decease has no trustee or next of kin to his deposit, I independently decided to contact you in strict confidence as you have the same family name with him.
Therefore, if agree for us to use your name to claim this fund in our bank, we shall share the money in the following rations: 50% for you while 50% will be for me.
I will obtain the sworn affidavit of declaration on your behalf, which is the only document the bank will need before releasing the money to you as the beneficiary. This transaction is 100% risk free since I am still working with the bank.
Finally, for the security of the transaction, all correspondence should be between you and my husband.
Find below his contact information.
Name: Bruce Addy
Revert back directly to my husband on the above mentioned contact information either by e-mail, by sending your details; for us to proceed while bearing in mind that the transaction should be strictly confidential.
Best wishes for peace profound.