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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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 united state 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr Cain B. Washbrook" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 10:12:06 -0700
Subject: From Dr Cain B. Washbrook
I am Dr Cain B. Washbrook Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of
the Natwest Bank London.I have a Secured business suggestion for you.
Before the U.S and Iraqi war our client Col. Hosam Ahmed who was with the
Iraqi forces and also business man made a numbered fixed deposit for 18
calendar months, with a value of Thirty million United State Dollars
($30,000,000.00) only in my branch. Upon maturity several notices was sent
to him, even during the war early this year.
Again after the war another notification was sent and still no response
came from him. We later find out that Col. Hosam Ahmed along with his
wife and only daughter had been killed during the war in a bomb blast that
hit their home.
After further investigation it was also discovered that Col. Hosam Ahmed
did not declare any next of kin in his official papers including the Paper
work of his bank deposit. And he also confided in me the last time he was
at my office that no one except me knew of his deposit in my Bank.
So,Thirty million United State Dollars ($30,000,000.00) is still lying in
my bank and no one will ever come forward to claim it. What bothers me
most is that according to the laws of my country at the expiration 11 years
the funds will revert to the ownership of the British Government if
nobody applies to claim the funds.
Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I will like you as a
foreigner to stand as the next of kin to Col. Hosam Ahmed so that you
will be able to receive his funds. Once the funds have been transferred to
your nominated bank account we shall share in the ratio of 60% for me,40%
for you, Should you be interested please send me information's below,
1. Full names and Age
2. Private phone number
3. Fax Line
4. Current residential address
5. Occupation (COMPULSORY)
I will prefer you reach me on my private Email address below;
And finally after that I shall provide you with more details on this
transaction. Your earliest response to this letter will be highly
Dr Cain B. Washbrook