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:
- "million british pounds" (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)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "is 100% risk free" (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: "Mr. Jeff" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2021 15:29:17 -0800
Subject: Hello Sir/Ma: please your kind attention is needed
Good day I am Mr
I am Mr. Jeff the Chief accountant of a reputable Security Company
here in the United Kingdom. I have a floating Ten Million British Pounds
Sterlings (10,000,000,00) from one of our Client Ms. Karoline Aadland,
a Norway Citizen who died in May 2020 due to Covid-19 complications.
I noticed from all her Documents that she did not include any next of Kin
to her fund deposits, I who are privy to this funds are soliciting for your
urgent assistance to get this funds moved out of the United Kingdom to
Upon your acceptance, kindly forward your Address and Private phone
number to this my email:
email@example.com, I shall furnish you with
Be rest assured that this Business is 100% risk free, I look forward to your
kind and urgent response as quickly as possible.
Please, treat this my personal message to you as most confidential.