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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Jaffa Smith" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2021 09:39:21 -0700
Subject: my subject
Kindly accept my sincere apologies for my mode of contacting you out of
the blues like this but something very urgent and important has come to
our notice and we believe it is important we seek your consent for the mutual interest of all.
I am Jaffa Smith, Corporate Director and personal funds manager to late
Mr Hiroshi J Nagashima a Japanese national. He died recently along with his wife and
only son while holidaying in Burma.where he died. In our last auditing,
we discovered a dormant account of his with $45,000.000.00 (Forty Five Million United Sstates Dollars ) in his name.
During our investigations we discovered he nominated his son as his next of
kin. All efforts to trace his other relations
have proved impossible. The Japanese Embassy UK couldnât trace any of
the deceased relations. The account has been dormant
for a long time since his death. Therefore we decided to contact you, to
seek your consent to enable us nominate you as
the next of kin to the deceased and transfer the funds to you as the
designated next of kin to the deceased.
With the consent of our late clientâs solicitors, they shall confirm you
as the next of kin; sole beneficiary to the
deposit/funds to authorise funds transfer to you. After transfer of
funds to your favour, you shall retain 60%, and 38%
ours, 2% set aside for expenses both parties might incur (if any) during
or after the transaction.
We have all the relevant details about the deceased, which shall enable
us claim the fund successfully. Your positive response will be highly
appreciated to enable us favour you with a draft
application/account details of the deceased for authentication of the
claim to the deceasedâs estate.
I will not fail to assure you of the sincerity of purpose as this does
not burden around conscience. By virtue of my
profession, let me take this opportunity to inform you that there is no
risk involved as I have my integrity, personality
and family to protect.Remember to always keep this information Confidential.
Should this business transaction be of interest to you and you would
like to request a copy of draft application to
proceed, please contact me via email@example.com