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:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "A Henderson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 09 Sep 2022 06:46:16 +0200
Subject: Good Day-Very Important Message
A client of mine who died of Heart failure a few months ago leaving behind an estate/capital (US$183M) in a Finance House, his sudden death has left him with no time to appoint a next of kin to his estate/capital and for this reason I contact you. During my private search for the late gentleman's relatives your name and email contact was among the findings that matches the same surname as the deceased who died intestate with no Will or next of kin. To maintain the level of security required I have intentionally left out the final details. Banking regulation/legislation demands that the fiscal authorities should be notified after a statutory time period when dormant accounts of this type are called in by the monetary regulatory bodies if nobody applies to claim the funds. I urge you to come forward since I can provide you with the details needed for you to claim the estate/capital so that I can be gratified by you, in this way $109,800,000.00 for you and $73,200,000.00 for me. I will do all the crucial/legal part in the Finance House to have the claim released to you promptly. Please endeavor to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue. To affirm your willingness and cooperation, please do so by replying to: email@example.com with your Telephone/Fax number. I do expect your prompt response.
Andrew Henderson, Esq.
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.