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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "confidentiality of this transaction" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Donald Bake <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2022 07:19:58 +0100
Subject: I need your urgent response!
FROM: MR. DON BAKER
DIRECTOR: CLAIMS AND INDEMNITY
PRUDENTIAL INSURANCE COMPANY.
101 VICTORIA ISLAND,
P.O BOX 20057,
I feel quite safe dealing with you in this mutual beneficial
transaction though, this medium (Internet) has been greatly abused
this days. But i want you to know that one does not closes his or her
eyes for the sake of bad people, he or she will not notice when the
good people passersby and the test of puddings is by eating. I choose
to reach you through this medium ( Internet) because it still remains
the fastest, surest and most secured medium of communication.
However, this correspondence is purely private, and it should be
treated as such. I also guarantee you that this deal is hitch free
from all what you may think of. I am Mr. Don Baker, Director in charge
of Claims and Indemnity PRUDENTIAL INSURANCE COMPANY.
I am contacting you based on T rust and confidentiality that will be
attached to this deal for the benefit of both of us. The Management
and the Legal / Treasury Department of this company in a recent
meeting, recommended that the account of Mr. Andreas Schranner, who
maintained a Life Insurance Policy with us, should be declared Dormant
and confiscated hence moving his unclaimed benefits funds to the
Treasury according to our Financial law. Recently, I came across a
very huge sum of money belonging to a deceased person (Andreas
Schranner). He is a foreigner, unfortunately,he is now late as he was
amongst those that was Killed in the Concorde plane crash during his
visit AF459 0 of July 2000, as you can confirm through this website
This man was our client and ha s a Life Insurance Policy WORT H the
sum of Nine million five hundred thousand Pounds sterling
(GBP9,500,000.00). Right now, the fund is lying unclaimed in our
custody and the next of kin mentioned in his file happens to be his
daughter Andrea Eich who also died with her parents along with her
husband and two kids in the plane crash and there is NO HOW we can
reach any of his other relatives. All efforts made by us to establish
contacts with any other of his relation has proved abortive and
His Life Insurance Policy will expire in the next few months from the
date of this letter. Just last week,we received an instruction from
Ministry of Social Welfare to forward particulars of all unclaimed
benefits that will expire in the next few months. Upon my personal
finding on this matter, I kept this information secret to myself until
now that I am contacting you.
In view of the fact that the deceased customer is a foreign r (from a
different country), it is Officially important for the involvement of
a foreigner who will pose as a next-of-kin. I will use my exalted
position in this Company to present you as his Next of Kin as you can
be his relative, friend or Cousin and the Money (GBP9.5Million) will
be Safely and successfully transferred into your own bank account in
Please include your telephone/ fax number/ Home Address when replying
this mail and I will give you more information as soon as you indicate
your willingness to assist in this viable transaction. I will use my
exalted position here to get all internal documentations to back up
the claims. The whole Procedures will last only 5 working days to get
the fund retrieved successfully Without any hitch or trace even in
Please I need the following:
1. YOUR FULL NAME
2. PHONE AND FAX NUMBER
3. HOME ADDRESS/COMPANY'S NAME AND ADDRESS.
4. YOUR AGE AND OCCUPATION
5. COPY OF YOUR VALID ID, INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT OR
This transaction will be done successfully and smoothly completed via
email and telephone. You don't need to come to my country. Send the
requested information of you to me via email urgently today so that I
will call you for discussions. I PROMISE that you must be happy and
shall rejoice greatly soonest for cooperation with me in this
After successful conclusion of this transaction, we shall share the
money 60-40 (40% for you and 60% for me). But one thing I keep on
saying is trust because it is an important factor in every business
dealings. So let's keep our hands across and do not involve the
spirit of cheating and greed in this. I await your good response
today. Thanks and remain blessed. I require you to maintain the
confidentiality of this transaction because it is important due to the
fact that I am still in active services to the PRUDENTIAL INSURANCE
Your earliest response to this matter is very important.
Mr. Don Baker
DIRECTOR: Claims and Indemnity
PRUDENTIAL INSURANCE COMPANY