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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Joseph cole <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2022 16:44:18 +0200
Subject: Re Your Attention
I am Mr.Joseph Cole, Manager Auditing and Accounting Department of
UBA PLC Lagos Nigeria. I got your email account
while searching for a business oriented personality and you happen to
be the one.
I bring forth a business proposal in the tune of Five Million Five
Hundred Thousand United State Dollars Only.($5.500.000 USD) to be
transferred to an offshore account with your assistance acting as
beneficiary and next-of-kin to the Inheritance funds.If you know you
are capable of involving and partaking in this transaction, let me
know by replying me back to this email address so that I will send you
the details of this transaction,
Kindly forward the following information.
Your personal Name
I am waiting for your urgent reply so that we start the processing of
the release of the funds to you immediately.