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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Attasi Dodo <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2021 23:30:45 -0700
I know this might sound somehow to you because of a lot of activities going
on in the world these days. But I assure you that this is real. A deceased
client of mine, who died as the result of a heart attack in March 12th,
2005. His heart sudden demise was due to the death of all the members of
his family in the tsunami disaster on the 26th December 2004 in Sumatra
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake, I have contacted
you to assist in retrieving the estate deposit left behind by my client in
the bank here in Togo in West Africa before it is confiscated or declared
abandon property by the said bank where this deposit valued at Eighteen
million Five hundred thousand dollars (US$18.5 million dollars) is lodged.
This bank has issued me a notice to contact the next of kin, or the deposit
will be confiscated.
My proposition to you is to seek your consent to present you as the
next-of-kin and beneficiary of my late client, since you are from the same
territory with him, then we can share the money on a mutually agreed-upon
percentage of 50/50%. All legal documents to back up your claim as my
client's next-of-kin will be provided. All I require is your honest
cooperation to enable us to see this transaction through? This will be
executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any
breach of the law. If this business proposition offends your moral values
do accept my apology. I must use this opportunity to implore you to
exercise the utmost indulgence to keep this matter extraordinary
confidential, whatever your decision, while I await your prompt response.
Please contact me at once to indicate your interest. I will like you to
acknowledge the receipt of this e-mail as soon as possible via my PRIVATE
EMAIL and treat with absolute confidentiality and sincerity. I look forward
to your quick reply.