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:
- "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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Liza Khan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2018 04:00:56 +0200
FROM MRS. LIZA KHAN
My Private Email: email@example.com
My name is Liza Khan, the Manager of Fund Investment Ltd Johannesburg
South Africa office. My client, who died recently during the eastern
city of Benghazi insurgency, made a fixed deposit of Â£24,300,000.00
Twenty Four million, Three Hundred Thousand British Pounds in my branch.
From investigations, he did not declare any next of kin, so I need you
as a foreigner to act as the next of kin to get this fund for us because
the funds will revert to the South Africa Treasury if nobody comes
forward. My anticipated percentages for sharing shall be fair enough 50%
for me, 45% for you and 5% for any expenses.
Please, be inform that we shall commence processing of claims of payment
once I receive your interest from you, and the funds will get into your
account within Five (7) working days by Telegraphic Transfer (T.T).
Note that this transaction is 100% risk free as long as I am involve. Do
acknowledge the receipt of this letter by indicating your interest in
this transaction with your direct contact details such as your telephone
and fax numbers for easy communication.
Mrs. Liza khan.