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:
- 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:
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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 (163; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Gerhard Esq" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2020 19:58:41 +0400
Subject: LET US ACHIEVE THIS TOGETHER
I hope this message finds you and your family in good health. I am
Dr.Gerhard, a Germany based Lawyer. I got your contact through your local
directory while looking for someone we can jointly claim some funds
together and share the benefit.
One of my client, an expatriate engineer who worked with a Construction &
Civil Engineering Company (BAUER Group) here in Germany for Sixteen years
died with his family in a Car Accident in 2017 . Before his death,he
deposited a total sum of â¬6,800,000 (Six million eight hundred thousand
euros ) with a bank here in Europe. Recently, the Bank contacted me
requesting that I should notify the next of kin of my late client or
relative to claim this funds or else the bank account will be confiscated
and the funds diverted to the treasury of the bank as unclaimed So far,
all my efforts to get hold of someone related to my client were fruitless.
In this regard, I want to introduce you to the Bank as the only maternal
relative entitled to claim this fund. In this way, the fund will be
transferred to you. I will use my position as his lawyer to put your name
as the next of kin to my client since his immediate family members are no
more. I have all the documents concerning the deposit with me and I shall
also procure other legal documents that will make our claim authentic and
facilitate the release of fund to you as the true and only surviving
maternal relative to my late client.
You and I can share this money, you will be entitled to 50% of the total
funds for your role, while the balance 50% will be for me. Please know
that there is no risk involved because everything will be done under a
clear and legitimate process.
All I require is your sincerity, honesty, co-operation and utmost good
faith to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that the process
will be executed transparently and satisfactorily.
We can both use this money to better the lives of our family instead of
been confiscated by the Bank. In approximately two weeks the transfer will
be completed if we dedicate our time to it.
If you are interested, send me the following details through my
1. Your Name in Full:
2. Your Address:
3. Your Occupation:
4. Mobile number:
5. Your Age:
6. Your Gender:
However, if you are not interested kindly delete this message from your
mailbox without disclosing it to anybody but if you wish to achieve this
goal with me, please send me the above information for further
communication and explanations.