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:
- 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 us 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.
- 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: Elizabeth Adam <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2021 23:31:44 -0700
Subject: Hello Good Day
My name is Elizabeth Adam I am a lawyer by profession attached to
Access Bank, I have a client that has a deposit with Access Bank, but
my client was involved in a tragic accident with his family (wife and
My client does not have any next of kin, because I am his personal
attorney, I want to solicit for your help in claiming his fund with
Access Bank. I will perfect the documents and present you as the Next
of Kin to my deceased client, because the bank knows me very well as
his personal attorney that runs his estate. It will be easy for me to
present you as his next of kin in other to transfer the fund into your
The total amount deposited by my client is Twenty-Five Million US
Dollars and my client is from United Kingdom, he was living in the UK
for the pass 20years. For your assistance in helping to claim the fund
from the bank, 30% of the fund will be giving to you and 10% for any
expenses incurred and 60% will be invested by you in my name.
If you are interested to help, please do contact me for further
information and provide me with your personal phone number for easy