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:
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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.
- +447035953270 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Greg James" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2010 16:34:59 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: From: Mr.Greg James.
From: Mr.Greg James.
Tel/Fax: +44 7035953270
Your quick response is needed in this âBusiness Dealâ that will benefit both of us without any risk involved either now or later. I am Mr.Greg James, from Bank Of Scotland and an Executive Consultant Officer in the International Remittance Department.
I have a business proposal in the tune of Â£250,000.000.00-[Two Hundred And Fifty Million GBP Only} to be transferred to any safety account with your assistance. This fund has been laying, in suspense escrow account for safe keeping for over 5 years as unclaimed funds placed as Heritage/Investment Funds to a "dead customer.
I had discussed this issue privately with the Top Bank Director and he agreed to help and have instructed me to look for a foreigner who can be trusted and capable to handle this transaction so that we can secretly move this money out from UK immediately basing on Investments plans in your Country. I guarantee that this will be executed under a concrete special arrangement that will protect us from any breach of law. I will not fail to bring to your notice that this transaction is hitch-free and you should not entertain any fears as the required arrangements have been made for the completion of this operation.
I urgently need to hear from you if you are interested and you can be assured that I will secure all Documentations to back your claims with help of Top officials, so you should be 100% sure of your security and all I need from you now is to present your information to the company as the next of kin to the dead man and have the firm pay you this money as the Beneficiary hence every arrangement has been made accordingly, kindly get back to me as quickly as possible to enable me make all the necessary arrangement towards how to present you to the office as "truly next of kin" to the late man.
After the successful transfer, we shall share in ratio of 35% for you and 60% for me & helping Officials, and 5% set aside for any expense both families might incur during the transfer process. Should you be interested, please respond to my letter immediately, so we can commence all arrangements and I will give you more information on the project and how we would handle it. Please treat this business with utmost Confidentiality.
Send me the following information, to enable me apply for the fund release in your favor accordingly.
(1) Full Names:
(2) Bank Name:
(3) Bank Address:
(4) Account Number:
(5) Account Name:
(6) Private phone numbers for easy communicaton both home and office:
(7) Current residential address:
(8) Office Address
(9) Any of your legal id, to start processing the payment accordingly per the national and international laws of inheritance.
You are to be here in person with your bank account information where the money will be paid.
Waiting to hear from you.