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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million us 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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "observe utmost confidentiality" (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: Chong L <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2021 13:06:16 +0100
I am Dr. Chong Lee, Bank Manager of Chinatrust Commercial Bank, Nan Kan
branch, Taiwan. I have an urgent and very confidential business proposition
On November 20, 1999, a British Oil consultant/contractor with the Chinese
Solid Minerals Corporation, Mr. Smith Lawrence made a numbered time (Fixed)
Deposit for twelve calendar months, valued at US$30,000,000.00
(Thirty Million US Dollars Only) in my branch. Upon maturity, I sent a
notification to his forwarding address but got no reply.
After a month, we sent a reminder and finally we discovered from his
employers, the Chinese Solid Minerals Corporation that Mr. Smith
Lawrence died from an automobile accident. On further investigation,
I found out that he died without making a WILL, and all attempts to
Trace to his next of kin was fruitless.
I therefore made further investigation and discovered that Mr. Smith
Lawrence did not declare any kin or relations in all his official
documents, including his Bank Deposit paperwork in my Bank.
This sum of US$30,000,000.00 is still sitting in my Bank and the interest
is being rolled over with the principal sum at the end of each year. No one
will ever come forward to claim it.
According to Laws of the Taiwanese Government at the expiration of 5 (five)
the money will revert to the ownership of the Taiwanese Government if
nobody applies to claim the fund.
Consequently, my proposal is that I will like you as a foreigner to stand
in as the next of kin to Mr. Smith Lawrence so that the fruits of this old
man's labor will not get into the hands of some corrupt government
This is simple, I will like you to provide immediately your full names and
so that the attorney will prepare the necessary documents and affidavits
that will put you in place as the next of kin. We shall employ the services
of an attorney
for drafting and notarization of the WILL and to obtain the necessary
documents and letter of probate/administration in your favor for the
A bank account in any part of the world that you will provide will then
facilitate the transfer of this money to you as the beneficiary/next of
kin. The money will be paid into your account for us to share in the ratio
of 80% for me and 20% for you.
There is no risk at all as all the paperwork for this transaction will be
done by the attorney and my position as the Branch Manager guarantees the
successful execution of this transaction. If you are interested, please
reply immediately via the private email address above.
Upon your response, I shall then provide you with more details and relevant
documents that will help you understand the transaction. Please send me
your confidential telephone and fax numbers for easy communication.
Please observe utmost confidentiality, and rest assured that this
transaction would be most profitable for both of us because I shall require
your assistance to invest my share in your country.
Awaiting your urgent reply via my email address