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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "offshore 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Craig Donaldson <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2018 20:38:44 +0000
Subject: YOUR INFORMATION
My name is Mr. Craig Donaldson a Banker in Metro Bank Plc United Kingdom,
I am writing this letter to ask for your support and co-operation to
carry out this business opportunity in my department. After annual audit
Last month in my branch I discover documents of a late client Mr. Andreas
Schranner A German business magnate who made a numbered fixed deposit.
This Bank Account valued at Nine Million Eight Hundred Thousand
British Pounds Sterling only (Â£9.8million )
I discovered from his contract employers, the Petroleum Corporation that
Mr. Andreas Schranner, died in the plane crash Monday, 31 July 2000, (an
air France jet liner) with his entire family and other passengers on board
as you can confirm it yourself via the website below for (BBC NEWS:
According to United Kingdom banking law after the expiration of 14
fourteen years, if nobody apply for the claim it will confiscate as
state treasury if nobody apply for the claim, I am seeking for your support
to stand as next of kin/ beneficiary to claim these funds so that we move
it into useful investments, I am ready to share with you 50% for you and
50% will be kept for me, You will provide offshore account where the funds
will be transferred to reason while I am contacting you is
because I cannot stand in the forefront to claim the funds alone because I
am currently working with the bank,
I will like you to provide me with the following details if you are
(1) Your Valid Direct Tel/ Mobile/Fax Number.
(2) Your Full Name:
(3) Current Resident Address.
(4) Your Private E-mail Address.
(5) Your Occupation:
(6) Your Age and Sex:
(7) Your Nationality:
Then i shall furnish you with due process of concluding this transaction
without any delay. please discard this message if you are not interested.
if you have any reasons to reject this offer, please and please
destroy this message as any Leakage of this information will be too
bad for me at my work place as a banker of Metro Bank Plc United
Kingdom, here in UK.
Thanks for your kind understanding.
Mr. Craig Donaldson