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:
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "huge deposit" (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)
- "million 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)
- "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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +22522406430 (Cote d'Ivoire, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: Roland Jones <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2021 12:25:38 +0100
Subject: Next Of Kin & Inheritance
From Desk Of Attorney Roland Jones (Esq)
#7, Boulevard Laetrile 25 B p 945
Abidjan Cote Ivoire
(+225) 22 40 64 30
Please kindly accept my apology for sending unsolicited letter to you.
I believe you are a highly respected personality, considering the fact
that I sourced your profile from your Country Business Directory which
i have a business proposal for you, this however is not mandatory nor
will I in any manner compel you to honor against your wish.
Well, I am Attorney and a Solicitor at Law and the Personal Lawyer to
M.s.Nelda Parker Pace (LATE), Who is the Director and owner of
Sawgrass Realty, LLC Real Estate company in Abidjan - Cote Ivoire.
On the 3rd of July 2017, my client, a single mother of two Children
were involved in a car accident along express-high way. Unfortunately,
they all lost their lives. Since then I have made several inquiries to
her Country Embassy in United States of America to locate any of my
client's extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful and in
After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to trace his
relatives over the Internet but to no avail, hence i have contacted
you to assist in repatriating her money and property left behind by my
deceased client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable
by the Bank here. These huge deposits were lodged particularly with a
Bank in Abidjan - Cote Ivoire (Banque Atlantique), where the Deceased
had an account valued at Twelve Million Five Hundred Thousand United
States Dollars ($12.5 million dollars)
The Bank has issued me a final notice to provide the next of
Inheritance within one month or have the account confiscated. Since I
have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over three years,
I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of my deceased
client so the proceeds of this account valued at $12.5 million dollars
can be transferred to you and then our sharing ratio should be 50% for
you and 50% for me. I have all the necessary legal documents that can
be used to back up our claim with the Bank.
All I require is your honest and sincere co-operation to enable us see
this Deal through and I guarantee 100% risk free that this will be
executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any
breach of the law and to achieve this i will need your kind efforts
I wait for your immediate reply as soon as possible if you are willing
and interested to assist me claim this fund for our sharing and
investment projects in your Country.Thank you.
Attorney Roland Jones Esq
#7, Boulevard Latrille 25 Bp 945
Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire
(+225) 22 40 64 30