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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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: Henry James <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2019 03:47:46 -0800
Subject: YOU AS NEXT OF KIN
I Am Henry James I work in a Bank. On the 6th of March 2001, our
Customer, an American National, late Peter Hashem, an Oil Merchant /
Contractor with the Federal Government of Nigeria, deposited, a valued
amount of US$32Million in my branch. Upon maturity, I sent a routine
notification to his forwarded address but got no reply. After a month
we sent a reminder, & finally we discovered from his contract
employers, that Late Peter Hashem, until his death Eighteen years ago
in a ghastly terrorist attack to American Airlines Flight 11: A Boeing
767, from Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles, California, crashed
into the North Tower of the World Trade Center (WTC) with 81
passengers people on board. All occupants of the Aeroplane
unfortunately lost their lives.On further Investigation, I found out
that he did not leave a WILL and all attempts to trace his Next of kin
were Fruitless. I therefore made further investigation and discovered
that late Peter Hashem , did not declare any Next of kin in all his
official documents.This sum US$32Million is still floating in the bank
and the interest is being rolled over with the principal sum at the
end of each year. No one will come forward to claim it. According to
Nigeria Laws, at the expiration of 20years, the money will revert to
the Ownership of the Nigeria Government if nobody applies to claim the
funds. Consequently,my proposal is that i will like you as a foreigner
to stand in as a Next of kin of late Peter Hashem. This is simple. All
I require is your honest and co-operation to enable us see this deal
through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate
arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. I will
want you to send to me on your return email the following information
for the transfer in your favor.
1. Your Full Names as the Beneficiary of the Fund.
2. Your contact address.
3. Your private phone and fax numbers.
Let's consider that our ratio of sharing will be as stated Thus;
1. I as the Originator of the Fund will take 50% of the transferable Fund.
2. You as the Manager of the Fund will take 50% of the transferable Fund.
Most importantly, CONFIDENTIALITY as what I saw as the life wire to
the successful transfer of this Fund is something that we must
You have to use this media to promise me that you will not in anyway
expose the content of this transaction to anybody be it your Friends,
Colleagues and Co-Workers.I will also want you to send your reply to
this email address < email@example.com >
I wait for your kind response.
Thanks And Remain blessed.