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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. IBRAHIM BELLO" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2009 16:07:54 -0800
Subject: I CONTACTED YOU BECAUSE YOU SHARE THE SAME LAST NAME WITH THIS CLIENT
>From The Desk Of Dr. IBRAHIM BELLO
Senior Staff In Filing Department,
Union Bank of Nigeria
40, Marina, Lagos
PLANE CRASH WEB SITE:
Confidential Money Transfer Proposal
On a very good day, I am (Dr.IBRAHIM BELLO) a senior staff in filing
department in Union Bank of Nigeria.
I am believing you to be that capable and reliable foreign partner to champion this businees opportunity as I have prayed to God about you. In my department we discovered an abandoned sum of US$14.8 million (Fourteen million, Eight Hundred U.S. Dollars), in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer, who died along with his entire family on (Friday, December 26, 2003) in a plane crash.
Since we got information about his death, we have been expecting his next of kin to come over to claim his money because we cannot release it unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines, but unfortunately we learnt that all his supposed next of kin or relation died alongside with him at the plane crash leaving nobody behind for the claim. It is therefore upon this discovery that I and one official in my department now decided to make this businness proposal to you and release the money to you as the next of kin or relation to the deceased for safety and subsequent disbursement (primarily to help the poor and the needy) since nobody is coming for it and we dont want this money to go into the bank treasury as unclaimed bill.
The Banking law and guideline here stipulates that if such money remained unclamed after five years, the money will be transfered into the Bank treasury as unclaimed fund. The request of foreigner as next of kin in this business is occasioned by the fact that the customer was a foreigner, and a Nigrian cannot stand as next of kin to a foreigner. We are looking for a trust worthy foreigner to stand as the next of kin to the deceased and beneficiary to the Special Fixed Deposit Account. If this money is not claimed now, it will go into the banks treasury as unclaimed fund and our greedy directors will divert it for their selfish use. But we can claim the money and use a reasonable percentage of the fund to help the poor and the needy.
Every document to affect this transfer of the fund will be in accordance with the banking laws and guidelines, so you need not worry or fear about this. We will use normal banking procedure and legal means to transfer the fund within 14 working days. I therefore, request your absolute secrecy and confidentiality. You have to assure me that you will not disappoint whatsoever, after the fund is successfully transfered. 30% of the total money will be for you, 70% will be for us here.
I will send you the Transfer Procedure and requirements if you are capable and indicate your interest by replying this mail to my most confidential E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks in advance for your anticipated assistance and co-operation.
Dr. IBRAHIM BELLO