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.
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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:
- "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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Mark Lee" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2023 23:18:23 -0800
Subject: Hi, DID YOU SIGN OR AUTHORIZE ANY DEED OF ASSIGNMENT
I am Mr, Mark Lee the Deputy Director of BARCLAYS BANK PLC, Due to the
urgency of the meeting held by the Executive Board members of this Bank,
there is presently a COUNTER CLAIM on your inheritance fund of
US$500,000.00 by Wendy Pattison who is currently trying to make us believe
that you are DEAD and even explained that you entered into an agreement
with her that she should receive your approved UNITED NATIONS (UN)
compensation payment as your next of kin.
Did you sign any deed of Assignment in favor of Wendy Pattison there by
making her the current beneficiary of your fund? Note if you did not sign
or authorize Wendy to receive your fund of US$500,000.00 on your behalf.
Kindly reconfirm to us if you are still alive and ready to receive your
approved fund by providing the needed information's
Mr Mark Lee
Deputy Director Foreign Operations
Barclays Bank Plc. Email: email@example.com