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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "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: "INFO" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2022 17:34:11 -0700
I am aware that this letter has come to you as a surprise as we have not met before or handled any business deal in the past. Nevertheless, I have contacted you with genuine intentions and I hope I can trust you with this Inheritance opportunity which I explain below.
My name is HANI EBRAHIM HASAN , an accountant I retrieved your contact address in my search for the next of kin to a deceased customer of our bank, who lived and died from Cardiac Arrest in the year 2012. Unfortunately this customer died intestate leaving his bank account with an open beneficiary status. All efforts made by our bank to locate his relatives have been unsuccessful so I decided to write you as I have monitored this account in the bank for almost 10years now and no one has come forth with any claim. I would like to present you to our bank as his next of kin to claim this dormant account worth $9.2 Million USD (Nine Million two Hundred Thousand US Dollars).You will apply to the bank as an extended relative to the deceased customer while I work from the inside to make sure all needed information and evidences are provided to you to back up your claim. The account has an open beneficiary status that is why I have contacted you to come forth and claim the funds as the next
of kin and beneficiary. I
I assure you that this transaction would be handled under due inheritance procedures and every necessary legitimate arrangement will be put in place to make you the real beneficiary of the inheritance funds. It also requires all confidentiality at this stage and I believe that you are ready to keep this absolutely discreet until you are able to claim the funds from the bank. Once the funds are released to you, it will be shared between the two of us.
Please send your response indicating readiness to proceed with this transaction and I would give you more details, and we shall discuss more details as well as the procedure to achieve a successful completion. This is an opportunity of a lifetime and people achieve it every day.
I await your response