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:
- "huge amount 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)
- "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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Habib Kamran <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 06:41:26 +0530 (IST)
Subject: Office manager C/o Mr Habib,Contact Me please My email private to you!!!
Salaam Salaam,From/Mr Habib Kamran
Hopefully you're in good health out there?
I am the above mentioned name with said office position. I am contacting you regarding a business transaction which I wish to execute with the help of a foreigner.I Burkinabe by nationality, in West Africa, working with Bank of Africa, I am the working in B.O.A bank and I am married with 3 children. My address, Plot 24 Rue 6, Ouagadim 204, in Ouagadougou Burkina Faso.Do inform me of any other information you shall like to know concerning the transaction, There is an account here in our bank with a credit balance of ($45 Million.)Fourth Five Million United State Dollars,The money has been here in our Bank lying dormant for eight good years now without anybody coming for the claim of it.
Upon Maturity, I sent a routine notification to the owner forwarding address but got no reply. After a month, I sent a reminder and finally I discovered from his company that the account owner was died aboard the AF4590 plane, which crashed Monday, 31 July 2003 into the Hotelissimo. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/859479.stm After further investigation, it was discovered that he died without making a WILL and all attempts to trace his next of kin proved fruitless.
Now, I want the fund to be release to you as the relative to (THE ACCOUNT OWNER) who died a long with his supposed Next of Kin since 31 July 2003. Meanwhile our Banking laws here does not allow such money to stay more than 9 years, because the money will be recalled to the Bank treasury account as unclaimed fund.
The money will be shared in the ratio: 40% percent for you and 60% percent for myself including any arising contingencies during the Course of this transaction which will be deduct from my share after the successful transfer. I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law, as I will use my position in the Bank's here to perfect this business transaction & secure approvals and guarantee the successful execution of this transaction. Therefore, I want to know if you are capable of receiving this huge amount of money into your account and have 40% of it as your share?
I will provide every information and materials we will need to back up the claim and ensure that our bank releases the fund to you as the beneficiary to the account. I have worked out everything before contacting you so you shouldnât be afraid of anything as we will follow the official way to get the bank to approve the fund to you. I will give you all the details regarding this account and the transfer as soon as I hear from you and please make this proposal a top secret or delete if you are not interested.
Do have a wonderful seasonal time, my regards to you & every members of your family.
Office of the manager audit and accounts
Bank of Ouagadougou Burkina Faso
C/o Mr Habib Kamran.