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.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Jennifer Cornell <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2020 10:28:20 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Urgent Deal Transfer
I believe this email finds you well. I am Jennifer Cornell, the Head of Risk and Compliance in my bank. Your Last name has a record with us and some funds are involved maybe a relative you may know or otherwise.
SUBJECT: A deceased customer of our bank who share the same LAST NAME with you, made a numbered time Fixed Deposit for twelve calendar months valued at $2.5 Million USA in my branch, On my personal investigation I found out that he died without making a Will and all attempts to trace his next of kin were fruitless. I, therefore, made further investigations and discovered that he did not declare any next of kin or relations in the Deposit paperwork with the Bank.
My proposition to you is to seek your consent to present you as the Next of kin and beneficiary that is late . as you bear the same SURNAME so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you, so you and I can share this amount on a mutually agreed percentage. All legal documents to back up your claim as the deceased Next of Kin will be provided by me.
Please kindly write me in my private email for private communication and more details.; firstname.lastname@example.org
All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us to see this transaction successfully with no risk involved. I guarantee you that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Your most urgent response will be highly appreciated to avoid making further contacts.