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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "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)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Mira Ayah" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2022 15:46:29 +0000
Subject: Urgent Attention
I am Mrs. Mira Ayah, I believe it is the wheel of God for me to come
across you today, also I hope that you will not expose or betray this
trust and confidence that I am about to impose on you. I have been in
search of someone with this same last name, so when I saw your
contact, I was pushed to contact you for our mutual benefit.
One of our customers from your country (Dr. Luis) had a fixed deposit
account with our bank in 2014 that valued the Sum of Â£7,300,000.00
unfortunately he was among the death victims of a car accident on the
12th of may 2016.
He was on a business trip in UK during this accident that ended his
life. being single, he did not state any next of kin Heir-apparent
when the account was opened, although as his account officer, he told
me that he will later forward one of his relativeâs name as his next
of kin Heir to the account which he did not fulfilled before he met
Since then, I have been looking for someone from your country with a
similar name. I was happy when I saw your name and I am now seeking
your cooperation to present you as the next of kin Heir to this
account hence you have a similar last name with the deceased. Do not
be afraid, there is no risk involved and every legitimate arrangement
to perfect this deal has been put in place.
For your involvement in this deal, you will receive 45% of the total
amount after the money is transferred to you. Also for confidentiality
in this i will like us to keep via email for now. Should you consider
this offer interesting, kindly send me the below information of yours
Your complete name:
Your full contact address:
Your direct mobile phone number:
Your major occupation:
Thanks in anticipation of your urgent response.
Mrs. Mira Ayah