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)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mr John <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 2021 13:49:41 -0700
Subject: GREETINGS MY FRIEND,
Let me start by introducing myself. I am Mr. John. I Know This Message
Will Come to You as a Surprise as we have not met before and because
lot of activities going on in the internet today. But I assure you
that this is real and genuine no risk attach to it. Please this is not
a scam or hoax mail and in case you find it in spam it maybe problem
of internet explorer as you know this days even me i receive some
message in spam.
I am John a staff with one of the prime banks here. I have great offer
for you, a wealthy customer of ours who is from abroad died plane
crash along with his entire family leaving behind Â£10,000,000.00
United State Dollars (Ten Million United State Dollars) He had no next
of kin and I am contacting you today because you can stand as the NEXT
OF KIN of the diseased customer and my bank will release the mentioned
amount to you if you accept this offer because i can not claim this
money as a citizen of this country but will help get all the
information's you will needed to achieve our gold all i need is your
acceptance to do it with me.
In my department I discovered an abandoned sum of $5.5 millions
dollars in an investment account that belongs to one of our foreign
customers Late Dr. Ron Bramlage an American businessman, who died
along with his entire family, including his wife and four children
when his single-engine plane crashed while returning from a vacation
in the Bahamas in a swampy area in central Florida, United States of
America on the 7th of June, 2012. You can read more about him through
the below link:
I want you to know that you are allowed to make urgent trip to witness
the transfer process