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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Neeraj Makin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2021 07:56:16 -0800
Subject: Re: GOOD DAY!
I contacted you for an urgent reason to see how best we can assist each
other to achieve a deal. I am currently in possession of certain
information that could be of great value to us.
I am Mr. Neeraj Makin a Bank Officer here in the U.A.E. Dubai. Please you
can check my bank website to know more about me;
I have a business matter of great importance in my bank. A customer of mine
had a fixed deposit with my bank in 2017, valued at US$17,000,000.00
(Seventeen Million United State Dollars). But sadly he died of Covid-19 in
China last year; my bank management is yet to know about his death. I knew
about it because he was my friend and I was his account officer. So before
it gets confiscated or declared unserviceable by our bank Management as an
unclaimed fund here in my bank.
I actually contacted you because he is from your country and I don't want
our bank management to confiscate or take possession of the money.
Though my customer did not mention any Next of Kin/Heir when the account
was opened, and he was not married and had no child.
Please note that there is no risk involved in this arrangement; rather I am
the primary risk taker here because of my position in the bank. The
transaction will be executed under a very legitimate arrangement that will
protect you from any breach of law and will be according to international
banking standards. Being in the helm of affairs, I have the power and
expertise to have you documented as the legitimate beneficiary of the money.
I therefore seek your consent to collaborate with me by allowing me to
document you through an attorney here as the next of kin/beneficiary in
position to receive the entire fund for both of us. I am willing to share
the sum 50/50 with you after the whole deal is successful. However, I would
like to be sure of your willingness, trustworthiness and commitment to
execute this transaction with me, I cannot afford to compromise these
virtues considering the money involved and my position here.
I shall provide you with further clarification and directives on how to
successfully handle this operation after I receive your acknowledgement
I am indeed sorry for contacting you through this means. However, I
definitely know what is happening around the global world today which makes
it difficult for one to strike a clean deal of this nature, because
unscrupulous elements in the society today have destroyed the good image of
the legal ones and I believe it is only a day that people meet and become
great friends and business partners