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:
- "please indicate your interest" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: kulimd arabah <email@example.com>
Reply-To: kulimd arabah <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 21 Oct 2021 21:54:59 +0200
Subject: Re: Information
Hello Good Day
Please How are you today?.
I hereby wish to inform you that a fixed Deposit Estate inheritance Legacy amounting to
the sum of $10, 500,000 US Dollars (Ten million five hundred thousand United State Dollars
only) belonging to My deceased Client who share a name with you is awaiting claims by you
and or any of your Family Members and I as an Attorney in Federal Republic of Togo shall
be representing you in the claims so as to have the Bank release and transfer the above
money directly to you for our sharing.
My aim is for us to work jointly and claim this money and for your information, I have all
the supporting claim documents and privileged information relating to this unclaimed fund
in the fixed deposit Estate entrusted on me by my deceased client from your country.
As his Attorney on financial matters, I will stake all within my powers to ensure that we
have a legal and hitch free transactions. in fact we will be happy as this is a good
opportunity to enrich ourselves. My appeal is do not be afraid of the entire claims
procedure, because by working with my instructions it is going to be 100% risk free and
Please indicate your interest by providing me with the following: Your names, Resident
address, your occupation and your telephone number.
I will gladly furnish you with full details and the procedure guidelines for our success.
I await your immediate reply.
Fred John Amdt