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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand us dollars" (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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Jeniffer Bailey" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 2020 07:22:06 -0700
Subject: I NEED YOUR URGENT RESPOND TO THIS!!!
I came across your identity and contact in my desperate quest to successfully locate the next of kin to an account file forwarded to my desk for liquidation. I am Mrs Jeniffer Bailey, I work with the legal department of a local financial institution. My job here is to see that any unclaimed account is certified and confirmed UNCLAIMED before final liquidation instruction is passed on any such account file.
With the above explanation of my responsibility in carrying out my duty, it became very important that I make contact with you because an account currently valued at USD 15.3 Million (Fifteen million, three hundred Thousand US Dollars) was forwarded to my office for final search of next of kin to the deceased account holder file, the account in question was last operated in April 2005 and by law is due for liquidation.
I have tried to locate the next of kin to this account all to no avail. In my quest to locate such person, I came across your identity.Coincidentally you bear similarity with the identity of
account holder and this is the major reason why i have contacted you.
I have been mandated to certify the next of kin to this account before the liquidation within thirty official working days, Therefore I seize this opportunity to make a confidential proposal to you as follows: -
We both work together on this file; I will use my official capacity to front you as the next of kin to this account file. files relating to this account will be amended to suit this claim as soon as you have agreed work with me. Please kindly respond to this letter via my private Email address for further clarification : I also want to guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate framework that will protect you from any breach of the Law here and in your country.
I will await your positive response to this mail as soon as possible.
Mrs Jeniffer Bailey