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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Paul Williams <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2021 01:19:44 -0800
Subject: Good day,
I am an accountant by name Mr. Paul Williams. I have possibly tried
emailing you on without any response. Once again, I mentioned about my
late client who did not include anybody as next of kin to his deposit
documentation with our bank before he died alongside with the wife on
the 7th of January 2005 without any child and as the accountant who
attended to him on that very day 18th December 2004, he deposited a
huge sum amount which I have kept this secret for over 17 years now.
I cannot allow this opportunity to slips off my hand, and based on the
information in my disposal it will be very easy to front you as his
official next of kin. I am compelled to do this because I would not
want the finance house to push my client funds into their treasury as
an unclaimed inheritance. If you are interested, you do let me know,
so that I can give you comprehensive details on what we are to do. I
can even take a picture of the account to show you as prove to this