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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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 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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2021 11:10:03 +0100
Subject: ANTICIPATING YOUR RESPONSE.
I got your reliable contact from your countryâs Chamber of Commerce Directory and further explicit investment information about your country. I am Patrick Marsh, A retired Financial Consultant.
I had a client but because of his extended royal family history, which were disseminated by the international media after their trial for financial mismanagement and impropriety of US$14.8 Billion Dollars of which their private companies were later confiscated and dissolved by then sultanate of Brunei including many business documents that were destroyed and of which I was the company's International Financial Consultant.
Furthermore during this unfortunate period my office managed to dispatch the sum of Two Hundred and Fifty Million United States Dollars (US$250, 000,000.00) in cash under special arrangement into the custody of an Investment Bank here in the United Kingdom with the company Name and the deposits are still valid till date.
Hence I seek your good assistance to partner with me so that we can retrieve the funds and invest it into any profitable venture in your country for our mutual benefit because based on my present predicament; I do not have the capabilities to handle the transactions alone.
All you need to do is to contact the Bank where my office deposited the Money as my Representative/Partner in business and request the firm to transfer the funds to your Nominated Bank Account for further investment in your country.
Please I count on your absolute Confidentiality, Transparency and Trust while looking forward to your prompt reply towards a swift conclusion of this business transaction.
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