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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "affidavit of claim" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: US BANK <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2022 07:18:46 +0100
Subject: Did you sign any 'Deed of Assignment?
Good Day Sir, this is to urgently inform you that one Mr. James T.
Kehoe of 1200 Fitch Way, Sacramento, CA. 95864 and his Attorney Carl
S. Goode, Attorney at Law, of Goode Tax and Estate Planning Law Group,
LLC came to our office yesterday to file an application contrary to
your parcel containing an ATM Card in your name.
These above mentioned person and his Attorney visited this office
yesterday with Affidavit of Claim issued by Supreme Court of Louisiana
and a Power of Attorney given in his favor by your good self, granting
him the benefit to process and claim your ATM Card of
$5,000,000.00(Five Million United States Dollars Only)
We asked Mr. James T. Kehoe returned back to our office within 48hours
to enable us to have a personal confirmation from you being the owner
of the ATM Card.
(1.) Did you instruct one Mr. James T. Kehoe of 1200 Fitch Way,
Sacramento, CA. 95864, to claim and receive the ATM Card on your
(2.) Did you sign any 'Deed of Assignment' in his favor thereby making
him the current beneficiary?
If you did not give your consent to Mr. James T.Kehoe as your next of Kin,
kindly reconfirm the below information's and copy any of the documents
issued to you in regards of this your long overdue payment.
(1.) Your Full Name
(2.) Your Residential Address & Nationality
(3.) Your Direct Telephone & Fax Numbers
(4.) Your Occupation
(5.) Copy of your Identification Card ID, Driver License or Passport
You help us to serve you better
Yours in service.
Mr. Richard K Davies
Executive Region Manager
749 Broadway, New York
NY 10413, United States
TELL: +1 917 985 8049