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:
- 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:
- "search for a reliable person" (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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Francois Petit <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2022 13:30:11 +0100
Subject: CONFIDENTIAL MESSAGE..
Before I proceed, I must first apologize for this unsolicited letter
to you. I am aware that this is certainly not a conventional way of
approach to establish a relationship of trust, but you will realize
the need for my action. My name is Francois Edmond with the Societe
Generale Bank here in Paris, France. I sincerely seek to present you
as the Next of Kin to a late client who left behind $57.5 million
dollars in a fixed deposit account in my bank before his demise.
The British born client was into Diamond and Gold mining and died
without a Next of Kin. I shall obtain the legal documents that will
give you legal rights to make this claim legitimately. I am willing to
share the funds 60/40 with you and this shall be completed within 72
hours. With the legal documents, the bank will approve you as the Next
of Kin and pay out this amount to you within three working days. I
considered the funds would be of better use to both of us instead of
letting the bank confiscate the funds.
Kindly get back to me as soon as possible with your full name,
address, direct contact number and occupation for the processing of
the legal documents if you are interested and can be trusted to return
my own share when you have received the funds in your bank account.
More information shall be given to you once I hear from you. I put it
to you that this is probably going to be the best decision you ever
took in your life.
However, if you are not interested in the offer, kindly delete this
message from your mailbox and pretend that I never contacted you. I'll
continue my search for a reliable person that will help out.
Ensure to reply via this my private email if interested: