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:
- "million 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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: Aquino Veronica <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 04 Sep 2021 22:11:20 -0300
Subject: Good day My Dearest Friend;
Good day My Dearest Friend;
My name is Aquino Veronica; I'm a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). I
need your partnership in a funds transfer process involving an unclaimed
deposit amounting to US$260,000,000.00 (Two Hundred And Sixty Million
United States Dollars Only). All efforts to trace any living relative of
the deceased customer did not yield any positive result. I can use my
office to present you as next of kin to the deceased and have the funds
transferred to you for our mutual benefit. There are no risks whatsoever
attached. I will personally oversee the process of the transfer of the
funds from the bank to your private or company account.
My proposition is to seek your consent to present you as the next-of-kin
or heir to the deceased estate capital. Hence, you have related
information with our deceased late client, the proceeds of this account
can possibly be paid to you, thereafter, and we could share the amount
50/50. All legal documents to back up your claim as our late client's
next of kin/heir will be gradually provided.
All I require is your honest and sincere cooperation to see this
transaction through. This will be executed under a legitimate
arrangement that will secure you and me from any breach of law. If this
business proposition offends your moral values, please do accept my
apology. I must use this occasion to implore you to exercise the utmost
indulgence to keep this matter absolute secrecy whatever your decision,
while I await your prompt response. Please contact me at once to
indicate your interest and more details shall be provided.
Note: This transaction will be treated personally with absolute
discretion and sincerity. Meanwhile, the transaction is a secret and
confidential deal between the both of us as third parties must not be
involved for a successful and perfect completion.
P.S if you are not interested after reading this message please delete
and do not respond back.
Thank you for your anticipated cooperation:
Mrs. Aquino Veronica
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)