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:
- ",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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Daniel Okon <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2022 12:54:28 +0200
Subject: Hello My Dear,
Hello My Dear,
I hope with this explanation you will understand better my purpose of
contacting you please read carefully.
In June 2015, one of our foreign customers made a Fixed deposit for 36
calendar months, valued at US$35,500,000.00 in our bank where l am head of
Upon maturity, I sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but
got no reply. After waiting several months, we sent a reminder and finally
discovered from his contract employers that he and his family died in a
On further investigation, I found out that he died without leaving a WILL
and all attempts to trace extended members of his family were never
successful. I therefore made further investigation and discovered that he
did not declare any next of kin or relation in all his official documents
in his Bank Deposit paperwork at my Bank.
His money (US$35,000,000.00 ) has been floating as unclaimed since maturity
and all efforts to get his relatives have proved unsuccessful. According to
our banking policy, if such money continues to remain unclaimed, the money
will be passed to the coffers of the Central bank treasury unclaimed bill.
It's been many years now and nobody has shown up for the money. My proposal
to you is that l want you to cooperate with me to enable us to claim the
money so we can both use it for investment . I will put all the necessary
documents together to make you the next of kin so that the money will be
paid to you. I have secured from the probate court an order of mandamus to
locate any family member of the deceased so that the money can be paid to
him or her, but still no success.
If you agree to cooperate with me, after successful execution of this deal,
we shall share the money in percentage of 40/60. This means 40% for you and
60% for me. I assure you that this deal is 100% risk free, you don't have
to fear anything as l am a professional in Real Estate Banking / Family
If you are interested in engaging in this deal, please respond in earliest
upon reception of this message so I can confidently explain to you more
Mr. Daniel Okon.