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:
- "keep it confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "INFO" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2021 21:50:31 -0700
I apologize for sending an unexpected email to you. I am David Mandu, the personal Lawyer to late Mr. Luke, who bears the same surname with you. He lost his life in a car accident. He was a Gold merchant, and a national of your Country.
I seek your consent to present you to the bank here, as a close relative of my Client so that the proceeds of his account valued at 6.5 Millions Euros can be paid to your account for our mutual benefit before they are confiscated by the bank. Let me have the following information for more details: your age, full name and address, telephone numbers, Profession and position.
Please keep it confidential.
David Mandu Esq.