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:
- "contact me immediately" (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: Mustafa Ayvaz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 17 Jan 2022 15:03:56 +0000
I am Mustafa Ayvaz, a personal attorney to the late Mr. Robert,
who lost his life due to Coronavirus disease, which he contracted
during his business trip in China. I contacted you to work with
me in securing the transfer of a fund: Four million four hundred
and twenty thousand dollars, legacy left by him.
I have thoroughly searched for the next of kin to my deceased
client, but have failed as I do not have his current residence
and contact details. As I was searching, I bumped into your
profile having the same last name and in the same locality with
the next of kin. I decided to contact you and use you as the
Bonafide next of kin.
I solicit your consent to produce you as the next of kin to my
deceased client since both of you bear the same last name. The
funds will then be transferred to you as the beneficiary and
shared according to a proposed sharing pattern / ratio of 60:40
i.e. 60% for me and 40% for you. For more details kindly contact
me immediately for more information.
After which I will send you the details of how the transaction
will commence, Contact me back for more information through my