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:
- ",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)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "dormant account" (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.
- +447045764541 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Dr Arne Kurt Alfredsson <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2011 19:36:03 -0500
My name is Dr Arne Kurt Alfredsson a member of Independent Committee
of Eminent Persons (ICEP),
Switzerland. ICEP is charged with the responsibility of finding bank
accounts in Switzerland
belonging to non-Swiss indigenes, which have remained dormant since
World War II It may interest
you to know that In July of 1997,the Swiss Banker's association
published a list of dormant
accounts originally opened by non-Swiss citizens.
These accounts had been dormant since the end of World War II (May 9,
1945). Most belonged to
Holocaust victims.The continuing efforts of the Independent Committee
of Eminent Persons (ICEP)
have since resulted in the discovery of additional dormant accounts -
54,000 in December, 1999.The
published lists contain all types of dormant accounts, including
accounts,securities accounts, safe deposit boxes, custody accounts, and
transaction accounts.Numbered accounts are also included.Interest is
paid on accounts that were
interest bearing when established.The Claims Resolution Tribunal (CRT)
handles processing of all
claims on accounts due non-Swiss citizens.
A dormant account of ORDNER ADELE with a credit balance of 35,000,000
US dollar plus accumulated
interest was discovered by me.The beneficiary was murdered during the
holocaust era,leaving no
WILL and no possible records for trace of heirs.
The Claims Resolution Tribunal has been mandated to report all
unclaimed funds for permanent
closure of accounts and transfer of existing credit balance into the
treasury of Switzerland
government as provided by the law for management of assets of deceased
beneficiaries who died
interstate (living no wills).Being a top executive at ICEP, I have all
secret details and
necessary contacts for claim of the funds without any hitch. The funds
will be banked in a tax
free, safe haven for funds and we can share the funds and use in
investment of our choice.Due to
the sensitive nature of my job, I need a foreigner to HELP claim the
All that is required is for you to provide me your details for
processing of the necessary legal,
and administrative claim documents for transfer of the funds to
you.Provide me with your full
name, address, and telephone/fax.
I will ensure that the fund is transferred to a secure, numbered
account in your name, and you can
now start accessing the funds gradually and transferring to your
country and other banks of choice
in the world.
My share will be 60 percent and your share is 40 per cent of the total
amount. THERE IS NO RISK
INVOLVED.You can find additional information about unclaimed funds
through the internet at the
The Holocaust Claims Processing Office has put funds in Escrow awaiting
submission of valid claims
for necessary disbursement.I find myself privileged to have this
information and this may be a
great opportunity for a life time of success without risks.
Thank you for your prompt response.Due to security reasons, reply to me
Thanks once more for co-operating,
Dr Arne Kurt Alfredsson