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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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)
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Philip Ikeazor" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 9 Oct 2021 02:11:11 +0100
Subject: I WAIT YOUR KIND RESPONSE............
I am Philip Ikeazor the Manager, Bills And Exchange at the Foreign
Remittance Department in a Bank. Actually, I have a very urgent &
confidential Business Proposition for you & for our mutual interest.On
the 6th of March 2001,our Customer, an American National,late Jeremiah
J. Ahern , an Oil Merchant / Contractor with the Federal Government of
Nigeria, deposited, a valued amount of US$32Million in my branch. Upon
maturity, I sent a routine notification to his forwarded address but
got no reply. After a month we sent a reminder, & finally we
discovered from his contract employers NNPC, that late Jeremiah J.
Ahern ,until his death twenty ( 20 ) years ago in a ghastly terrorist
attack to American Airline flight 175 from Boston to Los
Angeles,crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center (WTC)
with 86 people on board. All occupants of the airplane unfortunately
lost their lives.
On further investigation, I found out that he did not leave a WILL and
all attempts to trace his Next of kin were rootless. I therefore made
further investigation and discovered that late Jeremiah J. Ahern , did
not declare any Next of kin in all his official documents. This sum
US$32Million is still floating in the bank and the interest is being
rolled over with the principal sum at the end of each year. No one
came forward to claim it. According to Nigeria Laws, at the expiration
of 20 years,the money will revert to the Ownership of the Nigerian
Government if nobody applies to claim the funds.
Consequently,my proposal is that i will like you as a foreigner to
stand in as the Next of kin of late Jeremiah J. Ahern . This is
simple. All I require is your honest and co-operation to enable us see
this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a
legitimate arrangement that will protect you from a breach of the law.
I will want you to send to me on your return email, the following
information for the transfer in your favor:
1.Your Full Name.......................... ....................
2. Your contact address....................... ............
3. Your Tel/Fax Numbers:...................... .........
Let's consider that our ratio of sharing will be as stated Thus
1. I, as the originator of the Fund will take 50% of the transferable fund
2.You as the Manager of the Fund will take 50% of the transferable Fund.
Most importantly, CONFIDENTIALITY as what I saw as the life wire to
the success of the transfer of this Fund must have to be emulated
between you and me. You have to use this media to promise me that you
will not in anyway expose the content of this transaction to anybody
be it your Friends, Colleagues and Co-Workers. I will also want you to
send your reply to this email (email@example.com) as soon as you get
this email to enable us discuss on the modalities and processes for
success of this transaction. Thanks for your anticipated cooperation
and understanding. I wait for your kind response.