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:
- 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:
- "million british pounds" (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)
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Jeffrey Thomas <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2019 23:57:22 +0100
Subject: Greeting From Thomas Jeffrey
RE-TRANSFER OF Â£35,000,000.00 (Thirty Five Million British Pounds
Your quick response is indeed needed in this âBusiness Dealâ that will
benefit both of us without any risk involved either now or later. I am
Thomas Jeffrey, an Executive Business Consultant Officer in the
International Remittance Department in our Bank branch here in UK, I am
personal account officer to the great late Deceased who has an account
our bank here in London, United Kingdom.
I have a business proposal in the tune of Â£35,000,000.00 (Thirty Five
Million British Pounds Sterling Only) to be transferred to any safety
account with your assistance. This fund has been laying, in suspense
account for safe keeping over 5 years as unclaimed funds placed as
Heritage/Investment Funds to a "dead customer. It's when I was on a
inspection in one of our periodic auditing, that I discovered a dormant
account with a holding balance of Â£35,000,000.00 (Thirty Five Million
British Pounds Sterling Only) in it.
The owner of this account is a foreigner and no other person knows about
this account or anything concerning it, the account has no other
beneficiary and until his death he was the manager of his company. My
investigation through the National Immigration Department and Ministries
here proved to me as well that he was single as at the time of his entry
into the United Kingdom. As a matter of fact, I have decided to transfer
this fund abroad for investment only. So your assistance as a foreigner
necessary because the management of the bank will welcome any foreigner
has correct information to this account, which I will disclose to you
I had discussed this issue privately with the Top Bank Director and he
agreed to help and have instructed me to look for a foreigner who can be
trusted and capable to handle this transaction so that we can secretly
this money out from UK immediately basing on Investments plans in your
Country. I guarantee that this will be executed under a concrete special
arrangement that will protect us from any breach of law. I will not fail
bring to your notice that this transaction is hitch-free and you should
entertain any fears because good arrangement has been outlined for
If you are willing and capable to handle this business with me in full
confidence & trust, please do not hesitate to send me your full address
Bank account information both your telephone numbers: I am waiting to
receive your positive feedback on my private email ID
Mr. Thomas Jeffrey
Officer in the International,