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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "transaction is risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Amy Stirling <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2021 16:13:33 +0100
Subject: I APPRECIATE YOUR URGENT RESPOND
My Dear Friend,
I am Ms. Anita O'Dell, a seasoned banker with TD Bank here in the States
and I wish to request for your assistance in a deal that involves $7.2M
(Seven million, Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) with our Bank.
This deal by virtue of its nature must be utterly confidential and top
secret. Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make any
one apprehensive and worried, I am assuring you that this will be done
under a legitimate arrangement that will protect both of us from any breach
of the law. I came to know you in my private search for a reliable and
reputable Business Person/individual that can handle this confidential deal
with me, which required maximum confidence and trust from both sides.
I am an account officer to one of the dormant accounts with our bank that
belong to one of our deceased customers Mr. Paul Louis Halley, a French
citizen rich who was into several businesses here in the States before his
death along with his wife in an air crash. Before their untimely death our
customer deposited the Sum of $7.2M (Seven million, Two Hundred Thousand
United States Dollars) with our bank here in the States.
This website will give you a comprehensive picture of what I am talking
During the bank audit exercise, it was discovered that a lot of accounts
have been dormant as an unclaimed credit balance, hence our management
decided during the current re-capitalization in our banking sector, to
phase out all accounts that have been dormant. As the account officer to
the late Mr. Paul Louis Halley, I have made several inquiries to his high
commission to locate my client's extended relatives, but all my efforts
proved abortive, I then decided to trace his relatives or family members
over the internet, and yet all effort became abortive. However, I found you
as my instinct convinced me that you will be a trustworthy and honest
business partner and I decided to contact you to assist me in repatriating
my late client's deposit before it got confiscated or declared
unserviceable by our bank, TD Bank here in the States.
I therefore wish to request for your assistance and permission to present
you as the appointed next of kin to Mr. Paul Louis Halley so that the $7.2M
(Seven million, Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) can be released
and paid into your account as the beneficiary. Be informed that this
transaction is risk free otherwise I will not contact you because it is
against our bank policy. Please get in touch with me immediately if you are
interested to assist me by furnishing me with the following information;
The call-up capital is significant. After receiving your thoughts and
consideration, further information will be provided to you.
1. Your full names
2. Your full address
3. Direct Telephone numbers
Looking forward to your prompt response in my private email:
Ms. Anita O'Dell