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)
- "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)
- "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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Attasi Dodo <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2021 16:54:47 +0100
Sorry for contacting you through this medium as we have never met each
I got your contact via the internet data base of your country on my
preliminary search to locate the relatives of my late client which all
my efforts proved abortive.
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 of the reality of
My name is Mr. Attasi Dodo, an attorney in our branch office here in
Lome City the Republic of Togo.
A deceased client of mine,business man and also own a gold Mining
Company/sales who is from the same country of Origin with you died as
a result of heart attack in March 12th, 2005 without a will or record
of next of kin.
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
Indonesia years ago without a WILL or next of kin.
VIEW LINK: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake.
He had a fixed deposit of Eighteen million Five hundred thousand
united states dollars (USD$18.5 million dollars) left behind in his
account here before he met his end.
The bank has issued me a notice to contact the next of kin for claim
of the funds or the funds will be confiscated as an abandoned bank
My contacting you is to present you as my late client next of kin
since you bear the same surname as his and same country of Origin so
that his left over funds with the bank will be transferred to your
account and we will share the funds equally on 50/50% to both parties.
I look forward to your response soon if you can assist me in
retrieving the fund from the bank as all the legal documents which
will protect you from any breach of the law during and after this
transaction will be provided.
Meanwhile if this mail offends your moral value do accept my sincere apology.