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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Garry Welker" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2021 09:48:27 +0100
I am Mr.Garry Welker the newly inaugurated World Debt Recovery
committee (WDRC). My committee has a mandate to recover unpaid debts
associated with NNPC contracts, Compensation funds, Lottery funds,
inheritance funds and loans etc ranging from $1.5M-$9.5M-$30M owed
to various beneficiaries and companies across the globe (Asia, Europe,
USA, Africa, and Australia) and submit the list of the unpaid
beneficiaries/companies to the appointed official paying Banks for
immediate payment of the fund.
In the course of our investigation, your email address/particulars
were shortlisted among the first fifteen individuals yet to be paid
hence this email. However, we received a petition today from someone
Mrs.Christina Morgan that you are dead. According to her, you died in
a plane crash as such your funds should be paid to her as the apparent
heir. She has also submitted her Bank account with Bank of America for
the transfer of the fund to her.
To avoid undue delay or paying the fund to wrong
individual/beneficiary, I have decided to contact you for confirmation.
If I fail to hear from you after 72 hours, it will be assumed that the
petition of Mrs. Morgan is true and the fund will be paid to her
without further delay.
Therefore, if you are still alive, reconfirm your particulars,
1. Full Name:________________________
2. Phone Number:________________
Copy of int'l passport or any scanned identity to prove yourself.
and how you want your funds to be paid to you immediately for the attention
of the paying officer.
The only fee you have to pay is $89.00 for clearance stop order.