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:
- "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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "confidentiality of this transaction" (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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: Andy Halford <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2021 01:19:03 +0100
Subject: Reply Now.
I am writing to seek your cooperation over this business, Please due
welcome this letter.
I am Andy Halford, the Group Chief Financial Officer at the Standard
Chartered Bank, UK. With due respect, I have decided to contact you on a
business transaction that will be beneficial to both of us. I got your
contact email through the internet work line.
At the bank's last accounts/auditing evaluations, my staff came across an
old account which was being maintained by a foreign client who died along
with his entire family on 24th March, 2015 in a plane crash in the French
Alps near Digne, France. Please visit this site that is one of the evidence
the directors brought in other to swallow the money at the end of the day,
The deceased was unable to run this account since his death. The account
has remained dormant without the knowledge of his relatives since it was
put in a safe deposit account in the bank for future investment by the
Since his demise, even the members of his family haven't applied for claims
over this fund and it has been in the safe deposit account until I
discovered that it cannot be claimed since our client is a foreign national
and we are sure that he has no next of kin here to file claims over the
money. As the Chief Financial Officer of this bank, this discovery was
brought to my office so as to decide what is to be done. I decided to seek
ways through which to transfer this money out of the bank and out of the
The total amount in the account is Twenty Five Million United States
Dollars (USD $25,000,000.00). With my positions as staff of the bank, I am
handicapped because I cannot operate foreign accounts and cannot lay
bonafide claims over this money. The client was a foreign national and you
will only be asked to act as his next of kin and I will supply you with all
the necessary information and bank data to assist you in being able to
transfer this money to any bank of your choice where this money could be
The total sum will be shared as follows: 50% for me, 50% for you and
expenses incidentally during the transfer will be incurred by both of us.
The transfer is risk free on both sides hence you are going to follow my
instruction till the fund transfer to your account.
Since I work in this bank that is why you should be confident in the
success of this transaction because you will be updated with information as
and when desired.
I will wish you to keep this transaction secret and confidential as I am
hoping to retire with my share of this money at the end of the transaction
which will be when this money is safely transferred in your account. I will
then come over to your country for sharing according to the agreed
percentages. You might even have to advise me on possibilities of
investment in your country or elsewhere of our choice. May God help you to
help me to a restive retirement, Amen.
Please be informed that your utmost confidentiality is required. If this
interests you, I want to remind you of the confidentiality of this
transaction at hand whatever your decision is. For further information and
inquiries feel free to contact me back immediately for more explanation and
better understanding through my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
My telephone and whatsapp number: +447441426947
I am waiting for your urgent response!!!
Thanks and remain blessed.
Group Chief Financial Officer.