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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",500,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Gigi Mohammed" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2019 05:44:41 -0700
Subject: Sir Kindly Reply Now
My name is Gigi Mohammed I work with one of the leading Bank here in South Africa. I would
need your consent to present you as the next of kin to our late customer who died
of heart attack in 2011. He was a wealthy business man who deposited the sum of
$15,500,000 (Fifteen Million Five hundred thousand United Sates Dollas) in our
Bank. He died without any registered next of kin as he was long divorced and had
no child. I was his account officer and have in my possession all the documents
required to present you as his beneficiary next of kin. We can work together to claim
this fund. Please listen, this is real and goes on in Banks all over the world without
people knowing. Let us utilize this opportunity because it does not come always. A
lot of customers open private accounts with different Banks without the knowledge
of their families and when they die, such money will be lost to the Bank unless
someone comes to claim it. This is how a lot of Bank Directors make so much
On your confirmation of this message and indicating your interest, I will furnish you
with more details. Please endeavor to provide me with the following so that we can
discuss in details.
1)mobile phone numbers
3)contact address and occupation
I urgently hope to get your response as soon as possible.