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:
- 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:
- "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))
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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: jameshenry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 9 Oct 2021 03:46:48 -0700
Subject: Dear Friend
I Am Henry James 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 overall mutual
interest. On the 6th of March 2001, our Customer, an American
National, late Williams J. Stone, 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 William J.
Stone, until his death Twelve years ago in a ghastly terrorist attack
to American Airlines Flight 11, from Boston, Massachusetts, to Los
Angeles, California, crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade
Center (WTC) with 86 people on board. All occupants of the Aeroplane
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 Fruitless. Therefore, I made further investigation and discovered
that late Williams J. Stone , 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.
With the state of the Fund, no family member has come for the claim,
According to Nigerian Laws, at the expiration of 25years, 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 a Next of kin of Late Williams J. Stone 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 any 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 names as the Beneficiary of the Fund.
2. Your contact address.
3. Your private phone and 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 mail 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.
Thanks And Remain blessed.