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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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: "FEMI ADAMS" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 5 Sep 2009 16:35:19 -0700
Subject: FROM FEMI ADAMS
MR FEMI ADAMS.
AUDITING AND ACCOUNTING UNIT.
FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT.
ECO-BANK LAGOS NIGERIA.
+234 0808 2380 2589.
I am Mr Femi Adams the head of auditing and accounting section of Eco-Bank Nigeria in West Africa with due respect and regard.I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us at the end of the transaction .
During our investigation and auditing in this bank, my department came across a very huge sum of money belonging to a deceased person who died on 26th December 2004 in Tsunami that happened in Sumatra island, Indonesia. From the information that our bank have gotten so far, the Tsunami killed him with his entire family and no none relation have been identified. The person that he used as his next of kin was his 17 year old son who died along side with the family.
Although personally, I keep this information secret within myself to enable the whole plans and idea be Profitable and successful during the time of execution. The said amount was (U.S$21.5M UNITED STATESDOLLARS).
Meanwhile all the whole arrangement to put claim over this fund as the bonafide next of kin to the deceased,get the required approval and transfer this money to a foreign account has been put in place and directives and needed information will be relayed to you as soon as you indicate your interest and willingness to assist me and also benefit your self to this great business opportunity.
Infact I could have done this deal alone but because of my position in this country as a civil servant(A Banker),we are not allowed to operate a foreign account and would eventually raise an eye brow on my side during the time of transfer because I work in this bank. This is the actual reason why it will require a second party or fellow who will forward claims as the next of kin with affidavit of trust of oath to the Bank and also present a foreign account where he will need the money to be re-transferred into on his request as it may be after due verification and clarification by the correspondent branch of the bank where the whole money will be remitted from to your own designation bank account.
I will not fail to inform you that this transaction is 100% risk free.On smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 40% of the total sum as gratification, while 10% will be set aside to take care of expenses that may arise during the time of transfer and also telephone bills, while 50% will be for me.Please, you have been adviced to keep it as a "top secret" as I am still in service and intend to retire from service after I conclude this deal with you.
I will be monitoring the whole situation here in this bank until you confirm the money in your account and ask me to come down to your country for subsequent sharing of the fund according to percentages previously indicated and further investment, either in your country or any country you advice me to invest in. All other necessary information will be sent to you when I hear from you.
Mr Femi Adams.