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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Frederick Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 21 Mar 2020 15:12:38 +0500
Subject: YOUR URGENT RESPONSE IS NEEDED
Dear Sir / Ma,
My name is Frederick Williams. I am the Director of Foreign Operations
of First Bank Plc Abuja - Nigeria. In regards to your inheritance
payment of $7,800,000:00 (Seven Million, Eight Hundred Thousand
Dollars only) which was confirmed to be true after due verification.
You are hereby been notified that your inheritance funds have been
immediate release into your account through our affiliate Bank
(Barclays Bank London).
I want you to forward your Full Name and Age, Your complete bank
details, Residential address, Direct Telephone number to me
immediately. As soon as the fund is transferred into your account upon
receipt of the above information from you, you will be communicated
accordingly. The fund will be transferred into your account within 5
Be fully rest assured that this transaction will be handled in such a
way that there will be no trace in future. If you needs further
clarification(s), do not hesitate to contact me.
Looking forward to your urgent response.
Director of Foreign Operations