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)
- "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: Paul Heywood<Paul@heywood.com>
Date: 06 Sep 2021 07:23:40 -0500
This is a personal letter directed to you and I request that it
treated as such. My name is Paul Heywood, a Private attorney
here in Adelaide , South Australia. Honestly it will be my humble
pleasure if we can work together.
I would like you to act as the next of kin to my deceased client
Engr.George D'Angelo, a national of your Country who made a
$35,700,000.00 ($35.7 Million Dollars) with a Bank here in
He died in car accident on January 31 2016 without any registered
of kin. Several efforts were made to find his extended family
I have received official letter from the bank suggesting a likely
proceeding for confiscation of the Fund in line with existing
the bank in which my client deposited the sum of $35.7 Million
Dollars. According to the Government Law here, the bank has
21 days notice as the deceased attorney to present the deceased
or have the account confiscated and closed as unclaimed bill, if
nobody applies to claim the fund.
My proposition to you is to present you to the bank as the Next
to my late client so that the bank will pay this $35.7 Million
to you as his beneficiary so that we can share the amount on a
mutually agreed percentage of 45% for me 45% for you while 10%
for charity donation.
I don't want you to worry about the legal part of this deal, All
documents to back up your claim will be provided by me. All I
is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction
I will also guarantee you that this will be executed under a
legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of
law here or in your country.
I will need your following information from you If you are
in this transactions, so that I can give you comprehensive
how to proceed;
Your Full Name:-------------
Your personal phone number for Communication Purposes:-----------
Your immediate response will be highly appreciated.
Regards and God bless,