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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "industrial and commercial bank of china" (not involved with lotteries)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "i will advice you " (this email uses bad English)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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: "MR. LARRY DILLON" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2021 14:01:52 +0800
Subject: Second Notice.
From Mr. Larry Dillon
Accountant Staff: Industrial and Commercial Bank
Of China (USA) NA Flushing Branch
39-02 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11354, USA
Dear Friend, CONFIDENTIAL
I am Mr.Larry Dillon, the Branch Account Officer to Mr. Richard J.
Klares at Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (USA), Flushing
Branch in New York, USA. I write to seek your consent to carry out a
transaction that would be highly beneficial to both of us. I know you
may be wondering why I am contacting you for this; however I decided
to do this with an unknown person to avoid any form of blackmail in
the future. Mr. Richard J. Klares was an account holder with my bank.
I was his account officer for 7 years before his death. He was a
victim of World Trade Centre bombing in September 11 2001. (See:
As his account officer I am aware that Mr. Richard J. Klares have a
secret investment. During the time I was with him He once told me of
his domestic challenges, which made him to keep this investment
outside the knowledge of his immediate family. However, since his
death, the management of my bank has made series of efforts to locate
his family but all efforts were proved abortive.
Therefore no one is able to claim the fund he deposited in my bank
legally because he has no (WILL) attached to it. His secret dollar
account with my bank presently stands at the sum of $45,500,000.00
(Forty Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) with
an interest agreement of 4.7%, which has been outstanding for years.
My purpose of contacting you now is this:
As my bank has a standing policy of converting funds in dormant
account into suspense account of the bank after a certain period of
time started this month. This fund will be transferred to the
government treasury account before the end of this year. Therefore I
want you to come in as the Next of Kin/Beneficiary to this account.
All we need is the documents to back up your claim and as the staff of
this branch, I am in possession of all documents relating to this
Be informed that it is, 100% risk free as all the titled documents
will be changed to your name, and the fund will be wired to any bank
account of your choice for our mutual benefit. Please note that I am
willing to let you have 50% of the total sum while 50% comes to me
when the fund finally gets to your nominated bank account. Also, note
that I am willing to go extra mile to make this a success this is why
I am contacting you so that we can join hands together to take care of
this transaction within the next 21 working days.
Kindly get back to me immediately, so that I will advice you on how
this will be carried out.
Please direct your next email here:email@example.com
Mr. Larry Dillon
Branch Accountant Staff of (ICBC) USA.