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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "first national bank" (not involved with lotteries)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: Greg Wellington <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2023 15:24:25 +0200
Subject: ATTN: DEAR
FROM: DR.GREG WELLINGTON
TELL: +2771 803 6648
I will begin by introducing myself to you as Dr.Greg Wellington an
auditor in First National Bank (FNB) in Johannesburg Republic of
South Africa. I solicit for your assistance to join hand with to the
ongoing deal involving the transfer of US$30M (Thirty MillionUnited
State Dollars) and I wish to transfer this money into a safe
foreigners account abroad, hence the fund is in dollar and will not be
approved in a local account here in South Africa.
I have discovered the above mentioned fund floating in a non-resident
account opened in the bank in 1996 and since 2000 nobody has operated
on this account again. After going through some old files in the
records, I discovered that the owner of the account died without a
[Heir/WILL] hence the money is floating and if I do not remit this
money out urgently it will be forfeited for nothing.
The owner of this account is a 61yrs old MR. MORRIS THOMPSON a British
National and great industrialist and a resident of Alaska, who
unfortunately lost his life together with his wife MRS. THELMA
THOMPSON as well as his daughter MS. SHERYL THOMPSON in the plane
crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 which crashed on January 31 2000,
including his wife and only daughter leaving nobody to claim the
money. No other person knows about this account or any thing
concerning it, the account has no other beneficiary and my
investigation proved to me as well that the account is a secret
As the Head of accounts in the department, Iâve carefully initiated
the process of transferring the money using a foreign partner with the
hope of having the fund transferred abroad for investment on my behalf
and I hope you will agree with my intention to arrange payment of the
claim in your name. I request that you let me prepare and file the
claim for the money from this Department indicating your name as the
appointed beneficiary of
Upon approval of the payment, our bank shall transfer the said amount
to your account, and since the money will be paid directly into your
bank account to be nominated by you, you will have the responsibility
to ensure that I receive my share of the money after disbursements
which I have decide will be 70%, and your personal commission will
be 25% while 5% will be set aside to balance what so ever expenses we
might encounter on the course of the transaction. I have to assure you
however, that am to make the payment of the fund possible provided you
are ready to give me a strong GUARANTEE that you will not betray my
trust in making the transfer of the fund into your bank account.
This is basically safe and risk-free involvement as it is not prone to
any enquiries since am active in service and will not want to loose my
position in the bank. Meanwhile I demand that you keep this
transaction very private and confidential in view of our personal
Apparently, i wish to notify you that all the necessary arrangement as
regards to the success of the transaction has been put in place.
Thanks for your cooperation.
Dr. Greg Wellington