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:
- "million 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Greg Willford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2020 11:54:47 +0100
On behalf of the Trustees and Executor of the estate of Late Mr. Edwin
Gabriel, I once again try to notify you as my earlier letter was returned
undelivered. I hereby attempt to reach you again by this same email address
on the WILL.I was made to understand that My Late client Mr. Edwin Gabriel
met with you during his business trip before he died.
I wish to notify you that late Mr. Edwin Gabriel made you a beneficiary to
his WILL. He left the sum of Ten Million Dollars (USD$10,000,000.00) to you
in the codicil and the last testament to his will. This may sound strange
and unbelievable to you, but it is real and true. Being a widely traveled
man, he must have been in contact with you in the past or simply you were
nominated to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wished you good.
Mr. Edwin Gabriel until his death was a member of the Helicopter Society
and the Institute of Electronic & Electrical Engineers. He was a very
dedicated Christian who loved to give out.
His great philanthropy earned him numerous awards during his lifetime. Late
Mr. Edwin Gabriel died on the 16th day of February 2015 at the age of 71
years and his WILL is now ready for execution. According to him this money
is to support his Christian activities (May his soul rest with the Lord)
and to help the poor and needy.
Please if I reach you as I am hopeful, endeavor to get back to me as soon
as possible to enable me to conclude my job. I hope to hear from you on a
distant date with your address, direct phone number, fax number ,age,
occupation to enable me to send you the copies of the will documents on