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:
- 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 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)
- ",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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Josip Rozmanic" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2021 23:57:17 +0100
Subject: Do revert to me
Dear Good Friend,
Firstly, I must solicit your confidence in this transaction; this is by
virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and top secret. Though I
know that a transaction of this magnitude will make anyone apprehensive and
worried, I am assuring you that all will be well at the end of the day.
I am Mr.Josip Rozmanic, from Ukraine . I am the account manager for Mr.
Sergey Kulakov,a Russian national who used to work with Shell-development
Company in Ukraine. On the 21st of April 2020,my good friend/business
partner died of coronavirus.
I am contacting you to assist in repatriating the money left behind by my
client and a good friend before they get confiscated or declared
unserviceable by the bank where this huge deposit is lodged.
Particularly,the bank where my client had an account valued at about
$15,000,000.00 (Fifteen Million United States Dollars )has issued me a
notice as his account officer to provide his next of kin or have the
account confiscated within the next 14 official working days.
Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for quite a long
period of time. now I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin
to the deceased since I have contacted a lawyer who will help us to secure
all the legal documents to back you as the legal next of kin to the
deceased, so that the proceeds of this cash valued us$ 15 Million will be
paid to you for both of us to share. 60% for me and 40% for you.
The lawyer will assist us in securing all necessary legal documents in
your favor that can be used to back up the legal claim and I have also
discussed this matter with legal practitioners who have agreed to work with
us to ensure successful release of the fund to you after due process for
both of us to share.
This transaction is 100% legal/risk free so you have nothing to worry about.
All I require is your honest co-operation to enable us to conclude this
deal.Contact me immediately so that we can discuss further about this issue.