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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Horst" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 02 Apr 2021 11:09:46 -0700
Subject: Awaiting your urgent reply.
I am Mr. Horst Dieter, a Banker and credit system programmer, I saw your email address while browsing through the bank DTC Screen in my office so I decided to use this opportunity to know you.
Your last Name tallied with that of our deceased Customer, that deposited sum value of US$20 Million which has Matured awaiting administrative order for remittance and no one has come for claim after so many years of his death.
I will use my office to place you or your company as the next of Kin to the deceased Customer and we shall share the Fund 40% for you and 50% for me, while the rest 10% shall be used to offset all expenses.
Do get back to me with thus:
(1) Your first name:
(1b) Your last name
(2) Residential Address or company address:
(3) Phone and Mobile number :,
Awaiting your urgent reply.
Have a pleasant day.