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:
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- ",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)
- "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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Alex Radford." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 08 Feb 2021 13:49:29 -0800
Subject: FROM Alex Radford & Co. Respond Urgently.
Alex Radford & Co.
Calle Juan Ramon Jimenez 10, Edificio Marbeland 4B,
Marbella, 29601 .
We are a financial and legal management firm, with expertise in litigation and business law which focuses on family estate/Assets, we also provide legal services in
Europe and abroad which includes leaders in banking and finance, political office holders and private international business men. We do represent personnel in
financing and coperate transactions. I represent the late MR. PHILIP, a national of your country, who was a contractor and business man and have spent most of his life
in Europe. He passed away few years ago due to health complications, although I have made some enquiries to locate any of his extended relatives but to no avail.
After lots of unsuccessful attempts in locating any member of his family, hence I am contacting you to assist in claiming his Investment fund valued at US
$11,500,000.00USD (Eleven Million, Five Hundred Thousand Dollars only) left with an Investment Company as it is now due and available to be claimed. The Investment
Company has contacted me to provide the new beneficiary urgently so as to enable them release the fund along with its profit which it has yielded from the first year
it was invested with them.
I therefore seek your consent to present you as the new and bonafide beneficiary to the invested fund. The Law does not allow me to make such claim without presenting
a bonafide benefactor so the proceeds of this account can be paid and released to you. To make this claim, I have all necessary legal documents needed to back up our
claim to enable us conclude this claim within 7 Banking days. All I require from you is your consent and cooperation to enable us make this claim instead it will be
declared unclaimed by the company.
Do contact me directly for further communication through my personal and secured telephone or email below or above as i am open to discussing this mutual benefit deal
I expect your swift response to the subject matter.