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 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)
- "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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Kevin Roberts <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2022 08:51:13 -0800
My Dear, Good Day to you,
Sorry for intruding your privacy,
First, I, am MR. KEVIN ROBERTS, from United Kingdom, I am bosom friend
to late Pilot Lewis Tonkinson, from West Bromwich United Kingdom. Mr.
Lewis Tonkinson was a co-founder of Pinnacle Marketing
communications which has a registered office in Caroline Street in the
Actually, Pilot Lewis Tonkinson and his wife Sally were flying home
with their son when their light aircraft smashed into woodland on 14
April 2016 and they die and left their six-year-old son.
Please carefully, visit this webpage;
Therefore, 1â m contacting you to stand as one of the business
associates to my late client (late Pilot Lewis Tonkinson) because of
his versatile in numerous business partners globally as no one could
questioned, as his only survival son was affected by the Aircraft
Mishap as he is amount the children with down-syndrome, and UK
Government takes care of him, since the government keep hold of all
his parents investments and many are will to the charitable homes.
Furthermore, I will like to present you as the business partner to
late Pilot Lewis Tonkinson, so that we can receive his fund and
contract balance worth 3.8 million dollars (Three million eight
hundred thousand United States dollars) he left with a bank here in
USA. I was his close friend before he died, all my effort to get in
contact with his relatives has been futile as none of the family
members or UK Government have any information about this fund, and if
we could not claim the fund, the bank account of late Pilot Lewis
Tonkinson will be confiscated and the fund transferred to treasury
account of the bank as unclaimed fund.
Lastly, due to the fact my two legs are paralyzed and I am not much
active, So, I want you to work with me to secure this fund for our
mutual benefit; All I require from you is your honest co-operation to
enable us see this transaction through. I guarantee it will be
executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any
breach of the law. Upon your acceptance to this proposal, this
transaction deserves utmost sincerity and confidentiality till the
fund gets transferred into your account. View appendix for copy of my
passport for your perusal.
I await your urgent response indicating your interest. View appendix
for copy of passport for your perusal.
Mr. Roberts Kevin