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:
- ",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 next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Nathaniel Chang <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2021 06:02:26 +0100
Subject: Dear Sir,
I am Mr. Nathaniel Jung Cheong, I worked for a Bank but i have since
stopped due to this project. I wish to place your name as the
beneficiary to Eighty Eight Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars
($88,500,000) due to the death of the depositor who died without any
heirs.I assure you that this transaction will be executed in a manner
that will protect you from any breach of the law both in your country
I am requesting your collaboration with me, the money will be released
to you in any country of your choosing. I urgently require the
following information for my attorney to start processing vital legal
Please note that my share of this fund will be sixty (60) percent and
I intend that you invest it in your country real estate on my behalf.
You may keep the remaining forty (40) percent for yourself. I want
you to know this transaction will be directed by me through the help
of my lawyer; it will help us secure all vital documents that will
support your nomination as the Next of Kin, As the true beneficiary
to the said fund, money will be released in your favor. What I
require from you now is complete trust and honesty.
Awaiting your quick response,
Nathaniel Jung Cheong