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:
- "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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Steve Adams <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2021 05:28:56 -0700
Subject: Apply for Next of Kin.
Barr. Steve Adams(Esq)
3027 Adeola Odeku St,
Victoria Island 106104,
I am Barr. Steve Adams (ESQ) personal attorney to Engr. Ahmed Aziz Reham,
a national of your country, who used to work with Niger Delta Petroleum
Resources Ltd here in Nigeria herein after NDPRL be referred to as my
My client with his entire family (The wife and Children) were kidnapped
and were murdered on 17 Sep 2017 even after the kidnappers received a
ransom payment of 10 Million Naira from the Niger Delta Petroleum company.
Since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy to locate any of
my clients extended relatives this has also proved unsuccessful. After
these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to present somebody who is
not related to our deceased as the Next of Kin.
The idea of presenting somebody is to assist in repatriating the money and
property left behind by my client prior to his death before they get
confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Bank, why i have contacted you
is to present you as his next of kin, so that the $15.600.000.00 ($15.6M)
will be paid to you and we can both disburse the fund according to the
percentage we will agree on. In view of this, I am seeking your
co-operation and understanding to stand as the next of kin to my deceased
client, to enable us to claim the fund from the bank. Hence, if this
proposal is OK by you and you do not wish to take undue advantage of my
trust, then I hope to bestow on you.
Please kindly get back to me immediately, to enable me to enlighten you on
how we are to proceed. On getting your response, we shall agree on the
percentage of disbursing the $15,600,000.00 (15.6M) between us, as i intend
to invest part of my own share in real estate business in your country, and
i would appreciate if you can put me in the right part investing in your
country. I will not contact any person or company until I hear from you, so
as to enable me to decide on what to do next. be rest assured that this
business is 100% risk free.
I have all the necessary official and legal documents that can be used to
back up your claim. All I require is your honest co-operation to enable me
as the legal attorney to the deceased in seeing that you receive the fund
into your account. I guarantee that this will be executed legitimately to
protect you from any breach of the law.
I wait for your prompt response.
Barr. Steve Adams Esq.