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:
- "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)
- "confidentiality of this transaction" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "foreign payment department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. David JIM Brown" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2021 13:15:25 +0100
Subject: HELP ME PLEASE.
From;Mr David J.Brown
head of computing department.
Access Bank Plc,
My name is Mr David JIM Brown, lam the auditor and head of computing
department of a bank here in Nigeria.l wish to inform you a bank
account that was opened in our bank since my inception into office in
2010,and according to our record, it was evident that nobody has ever
operated on this account since then, l therefore took the courage to
look for a reliable person who will be capable for this important
The owner of this money is Late Collins H.Fredrick of the United
States of America,who died as a result of Motor crash accident.No
person knows about the money or anything concerning his account and
the account has no next of kin and my investigation further proved to
me that his family and his country does not know anything about this
l am therefore seeking for a reliable person that will play the human
role as the next of kin to this fund which is in the amount of
£35.500,000.00(Thirty Five Million, Five hundred thousand pounds
sterling). l have also discovered that if l do not remit this money
out urgently, it will be forfeited to the government Treasury account
as an unclaimed fund.
l will use my position and influence to effect the Legal approval and
onward transfer of this fund into any nominated bank account of your
choice with appropriate clearance from foreign payment department.You
will henceforth stand to get 35% while 5% shall be set aside for the
expenses that will be incurred during the process,and 60% will be for
lf this OK by you,forward to me the below data information;
(1) Your Valid Direct Tel/ Mobile/Fax Number.
(2) Your Full Name:
(3) Current Resident Address.
(4) Your Private E-mail Address.
(5) Your Occupation:
(6) Your Age and Sex:
(7) Your Nationality:
8) Your I/D Card attached.
l will fill you in with further details upon your swift
response.Please be informed that confidentiality of this transaction
is of utmost importance please.
Mr David JIM Brown,