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.
- 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: "Pierre Albert" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 07 Dec 2020 06:43:09 -0800
Subject: CAN I WORK WITH YOU ?
Greetings to you,
Compliments of the season. My name is Mr. Pierre Albert, I work in a Bank here in Benin Republic. I personally handle the transactions and secret account of Mr. Hassan Hussein who died on the 1st of April 2020 whilst infected by COVID-19 disease.
Before his death, Mr. Hassan Hussein has the sum of ($18.7M) in a fixed deposit account with my bank, with no other beneficiary or next of kin. I write to seek your consent to present you as a foreign partner to stand in as the next of kin to the late Mr.Hassan Hussein.
I do not want this money to go into the bank's treasury as an unclaimed fund that has no next of kin or any other beneficiary on it. I am doing this business with you because the management of my bank is ready to approve this payment to any foreigner who has the correct information to this account, which I will give to you when I am sure of your capability to handle such amount in strict confidence and trust according to my instructions and advice for our mutual benefit.
If you find this proposal acceptable, I shall require the following details from you, for easy communication.
1. Your full name
2. Your telephone number
3. Your country
Send the above details to my private email: firstname.lastname@example.org