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. )
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "transaction is risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Stephen K. Garrett" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2021 00:27:51 -0700
Subject: Re: Are You Still Using This Email Address?
I am Stephen K. Garrett, a Legal Solicitor here in RoadCorryton, TN,
USA and I wish to solicit your assistance in a deal that involves
reasonable amount of funds. This deal by virtue of its nature must be
utterly confidential and top secret. Though I know that transaction of
this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and worried, but I am
assuring you that this will be done under a legitimate arrangement
that will protect both of us from any breach of law.
Like I stated above, I am a Legal practitioner here in TN. USA and I
came to know you in my private search for a reliable and reputable
Business Person/individual that can handle this confidential deal with
me, which requires maximum confidence and trust from both sides.
I had a client by name Mr. Paul Louis Halley who was one of the
richest man in France but does most of his business in the United
States Of America (USA) and also a highest investor/stakeholder in
Carrefour. He was into several businesses before his untimely death by
air crash. This website will give you comprehensive picture of what I
am talking about (
). My client who died along with his lovely wife deposited the Sum of
$71.7 Million (Seventy One million, Seven Hundred Thousand United
States Dollars Only) with a bank. During the bank audit exercise, the
bank discovered my late client's deposit as an unclaimed credit
balance, hence issued me a notice to provide any relatives of my
client otherwise they will have the account closed and the fund
confiscated. I have made several inquiries to his high commission to
locate my client's extended relatives, but all my efforts proved
abortive, I then decided to trace his relatives or family member over
the internet still all to no avail, and hence I found you as my
instinct convinces me that you will be a trustworthy and honest
business partner and I decided to contact you to assist me in
repatriating my late client's deposit before it got confiscated or
declared unclaimed by the Financial institution where the fund is
I now seek your permission to present you as my deceased client
relative or business associates and have you stand as the Beneficiary
to my deceased client so that the funds of $71.7 Million (Seventy One
million, Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only ) can be
released and paid into your account as the Beneficiary and Next of
I will provide all necessary legal documents that can be used to back
up your claim. Please get in touch with me immediately if you are
interested to assist me and send to me your contact address, and
direct telephone number, then I will commence work in your name. Be
informed that this transaction is risk free otherwise my chambers will
not contact you because it is against our norm and ethics. Please
acknowledge receipt of this message in acceptance of our mutual
business endeavor by furnishing me with the followings;
1. YOUR FULL NAME
2) YOUR CONTACT ADDRESS
3) DIRECT TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBERS
6) MARITAL STATUS
These requirements will enable us file letters of claim to the
appropriate departments for necessary approvals in your favor. Call me
as soon as you receive this message for further clarification. The
sharing ratio is 50% for you and 50% for me.
Looking forward to your prompt response.
Attorney Stephen K. Garrett.
Advocates & Solicitor.
Address: 7838 Barker RoadCorryton, TN 37721 USA