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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Dinther Helmut <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2009 09:52:25 -0200
Mr. Dinther Helmut Udo
Valiant Privatbank AG
Bern - CH 3001
Confidential Tel : +870-764107753
Confidential Fax : +870-764107751
I am contacting you on a business transaction of a huge sum of money
from a deceased account, though I know a transaction of this magnitude
Will make any one apprehensive and worried, but Im assuring you that
all will be well at the end of the day and this is why I have contact you
to seek your attention and have you stand as the next of kin to the
We discovered an abandoned sum of (Seven million five hundred Thousand
United States dollars) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign
customer who died along side with his entire family, and ever since his
death none of his next of kin or relations has come forward to lay claim
for this funds
We cannot release the funds from his account unless someone applies for
claim as the next of kin to the deceased as indicated on our banking
regulations upon this discovery we now seek your permission to have you
Stand as a next of kin to the deceased in which all documentations will be
carefully worked out by us for the (Seventeen million five hundred Thousand
united States dollars) to be released in your favour as the next of kin to
the deceased for this may interest you to know that we have secured from the
Probate an order of mandamus to locate any of the deceased beneficiaries.
Kindly acknowledge receipt of this message in acceptance of our mutual
endeavor by furnishing me with the following;
1. Beneficiary name and contact address.
2. Direct telephone, fax and Mobile numbers.
3. Date of birth and occupation.
These requirements will enable us file letter of claim to the appropriate
department and authorities for necessary approvals for the release of funds
in your favour before the transfer can be made to you we will be
you with thirty percent of the total sum on final conclusion of this
and the rest belong to us.
If this proposal is acceptable by you, do not take undue advantage of the
We have bestowed in you.
NB: If you are willing to assist me, including the information's i have
requested from you, call me on my confidential tel: +870-764107753. For
details on what to do next.
I await your response and call.
Please call me and respond to email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Dinther Helmut Udo.
Confidential Tel: +870-764107753
Confidential Fax: +870-764107751