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:
- "million pounds" (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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: MANUEL DWYER <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2021 19:28:38 +0100
Subject: BUSINESS PROPOSAL
The internet has been grossly abused by scammers and miscreants whose
dreadful acts have hurt and ruined many individuals. In as much as one
should be careful, at the same time, we shouldn't allow negativity to kill
our positive potential in a genuine privilege.
One Passionate appeal I will make to you is not to discuss this topic with
anybody. If you have any reasons to reject this offer, please delete this
message as any leakage of this information will cause me a severe
predicament and defamation. I'm confiding in you with the following
Firstly, I would like to inform you that the following proposal is 100%
My name is Manuel Dwyer, a solicitor and financial attorney of a highly
ranked law firm in the United Kingdom.
This letter is to ask for your support and collaboration to secure a
misplaced asset of my late client to avoid liquidation by the financial
institution or impoundment by the Government treasury department.
My client, late Walter Robb, an Engineer from Schenectady, New York, USA,
died of COVID-19 on 23 March 2020. He has no kids, and he was divorced two
years before he passed on, hence the search to find his descendent or
lineage has proven futile.
He owns a Fixed Deposit of Â£28M (Twenty Eight Million Pounds) in a UK Bank
in 2007, and it has accrued interest of Â£13.8M. It's been over a decade,
and the Bank is required to review the fixed deposit contract.
As the attorney, the Bank has been contacting me since April 2020
concerning the modification of the contract. I don't want to inform the
Bank about his death because it will automatically result in the
liquidation of the asset. Also, according to United Kingdom banking law,
after the expiration of 12 years, if deposit contract terms are not
reviewed or modified, the account or asset will be frozen or subjected to
confiscation by the HM treasury.
Therefore, I'm seeking your support to stand as the next of kin/beneficiary
to claim these funds so that we move them into useful investments.
Once acquired, I'm willing to share the asset at 60% / 40% with you.
Your presence in the United Kingdom is not needed. As a financial attorney
and the legal representative of Walter Robb, I have the legal right and the
required documents to successfully initiate the claim.
Please, if you are interested in this proposal, kindly forward your contact
information as soon as possible for further discussion.
In the meantime, please reply private email address as follows for security
Thanks for your kind understanding.