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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "huge deposit" (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)
- "million british pounds" (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 next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "HSBC BANK, UK." <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 12 May 2011 05:09:59 +0300 (EEST)
Subject: Your Right To Receive Your Inheritance..........
From The Desk Of Dr.David L Packer
Head of Audit
HSBC BANK Bank
My name is Dr.David L Packer, I am The Head of Audit Department with
HSBC BANK LONDON UK, I am also the personal Account Manager
to Late Robert Anderson.
Late Mr Robert Anderson who is a citizen of the United States of
America used to work with an Agricultural Development company in
On April 21, 2001,my client, his wife, and their three children were
involved in a car accident along manchester M2 motorway.All occupants
of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives. Since then, I have made
several enquiries to the United States Embassy to help locate any of
his extended relatives, After these several unsuccessful attempts, I
decided to trace his last name over the Internet to locate any member
of his family but all efforts prove abortive.
I am contacting you to assist in claiming the money and property left
behind by Late Mr Robert Anderson before they get confiscated or
declared unserviceable by the bank where this huge deposits were
lodged, particularly the HSBC BANK Where the deceased had an
account Valued at about (GBP 12.5 Million British pounds Sterling).HSBC
issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have the account
confiscated within the next fourteen official working days. Since I
have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 7 years now.
I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased
so that the proceeds of this account valued at (GBP12.5 million British
can be paid to you. An attorney will be contacted to help revalidate
and notarize all the necessary legal documents that will be used to
back up the claim. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable
us see this deal through.I guarantee that this will be executed under
legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the
law. Furnish me with the below information:
1, Full Name___________________
2, Your Home and company address_____________________
3, Telephone and Direct Mobile Phone/Fax Number_________________
5, Your Identification Like ID CARD Or Int'l
Please get in touch with me with the above information Via email:
Dr.David L Packer