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:
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "BRITISH.BUSINESS.BANK.UK" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2021 10:18:24 +0100
Subject: My Good Friend , Investment Transfer of U.S$9,072,000.00 Million
British Business Bank
8 Salisbury Square
Open Â· Closes 6PM
Attn.My Friend,Investment Transfer of U.S$9,072,000.00 Million
My Good Friend.
I am Mr Andrew Ford, I am the Branch Manager and heads Foreign
Operations Department of British Business Bank. I seek your sincere
co-operation to actualize the successful transfer of the above
During auditing I discovered a sum of U.S$9,072,000.00 (Eight Million,
Seventy two thousand U.S dollars) in dormant account that belongs to a
foreign customer who died along with his family in an AUTO CRASH.
Since past five years I personally confirmed Mr.walter,s death,
Nobody has applied for claims as next of kin or relation to the
deceased as stipulated in our banking guidelines since then.
It is therefore upon this discovery that I am making this business
proposal to you, to release the funds to you as the next of kin to our
deceased client for subsequent disbursement between us since nobody
will come for it and Am in charge also.He came from the same country
and has the same surname with you as it is in his file with us here
hence the contact. I do not
want this money to go into the Bank treasury as unclaimed Bill which
you know will still go into a private account if not claimed.
On confirmation of these funds $9,072,000.00 into your nominated bank
account, I will come over to your country to meet with you immediately
for disbursement of the funds between both of us, 55% of the total
funds will be released to me on my arrival to your country, your share
will be 40% and 5% will be used for any expenses we may incur during
and after the fund is in your hand just to use you as his next of kin.
Should you consider my proposal fine, I will advise you subsequently
reply and ask any important question if you have for the immediate
take-off of the processing and transfer of these funds to your
nominated bank account any where in the world provided it is in a
foreign country and save with your advise.
Endeavor to send to me your private;
Telephone and fax numbers to enable us open-up proper and secured
I will not fail to bring to your notice that this transaction is 100%
risk-free both now and after because we are transferring these funds
legally documented and considering also my position in the bank you
should not entertain any form of fear as all required arrangements
will be legally perfected for the transfer which will take only three
bank working days upon our formal submission of an application letter
of claim and will provide you with all the information you will like
to know about Client and likely questions the bank will be asking you
about the late Client.
I expect your reply.