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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "this business is hitch free " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: LARRY KOLDS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2021 14:32:07 +0100
Subject: Re : URGENT REPLY NEEDED
I know that this mail will come to you as a surprise as we have never
met before. My name is Larry Kolds. I am the operations manager in
FINANCIAL SECURITY GROUP, VIRGINIA USA.
I hope that you will not expose or betray this trust and confidence
that I am about to repose on you for the mutual benefit of our both
I am writing in respect of a foreign customer of our company who
perished along with his next of kin with Korean AirLine, flight number
801 with the whole passengers on 6th of august 1997 and for your
perusal you can view this site
Since the demise of this our customer, I personally has watched with
keen interest to see the next of kin but all has proved abortive as no
one has come to claim his funds of US$5.3M (Five Million Three Hundred
Thousand United States Dollars) which has been with our company for a
very long time.
On this note, I decided to seek for whom his name shall be used as the
Next of Kin since there are no known relatives and funds are about to
be moved to US treasury as unclaimed funds after this period.
In view of this I got your contact through the internet as I was doing
research on a capable person to work with on this opportunity.
I have agreed that funds will be shared between us 60%/40% and I am
100% sure of this.
If you are sure of your capability to handle this, get back to me so I
can direct you because we will need to prepare documentation fixing
you as the Next of Kin to the deceased and payment.
I will not fail to bring to your notice that this business is hitch
free and doesn't have any negative impact. You should not entertain
any fear as all modalities for the smooth and easy transfer of this
fund have been finalized, this transaction will be completed within 7
working days after we commence.
Waiting for your urgent response and please kindly delete if you are
FINANCIAL SECURITY GROUP
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA USA