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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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: Thu, 24 Feb 2022 07:24:10 -0800
Good day My dear friend.
I am MR. KEVIN ROBERTS, from the United Kingdom, I am bosom friend to
late Pilot Lewis Tonkinson, from West Bromwich, United Kingdom,
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 died and left their six-year-old son. Please
Carefully, visit this webpage;
Therefore, I am contacting you to stand as one of the business
associates to my late client (late Pilot Lewis Tonkinson) due to his
numerous business partners globally, I will like to present you as one
of business partner to late Pilot Lewis Tonkinson, so, we can receive
his personal deposit, worth 3.8 million dollars (Three million eight
hundred thousand United States dollars) he left with a bank in USA. I
was his close friend before his death, all my effort to get in contact
with his relatives has been futile, because none of the family members
have any information about this fund and as his only survival son was
affected by the Aircraft Mishap, passed on after.
Note, if we abandon the fund, the bank will be confiscate the account
and will transfer the 3.8 million dollars to their treasury account as
an unclaimed fund.
Lastly, due to the fact that 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 honest co-operation to
enable us to 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.
I await your urgent response indicating your interest. View appendix
for copy of passport for your perusal.
Mr. Roberts Kevin