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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Anderson Kouassi <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2011 18:47:06 +0800 (SGT)
Hello My Good Friend,
My name is Dr.Kouassi Anderson,i am working with the Department of Foreign Operations bank Standard Banking Corporaton, an affiliate of Global Funds Management.
On January 6th 2001, one Mr. Joseph Huber, an American Nationality a consultant/contractor with Gardiner & Theobald,a leading firm of project and cost management consultants made a numbered time (Fixed) Deposit, valued at £16,500,000.00 (sixteen Million, Five Hundred Thousand Pounds) for twelve calendar months in my Bank Branch.
Upon Maturity, we sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply. After a month, we sent a reminder and finally we discovered from his contract employers (Gardiner & Theobald) that Mr. Joseph Huber was on board with American Airlines Flight 587 which crashed into a residential area near John F. Kennedy International Airport on November 12, 2001.
After investigation, it was discovered that he died without making a WILL and all attempts to trace his next of kin proved fruitless. On further investigation, it was discovered that Late Mr. Joseph Huber did not declare any next of kin or relations in all his official documents, including his Bank Deposit paper work here at the Bank.
The total sum of £16,500,000.00 is still in my bank and the interest is being rolled over with the principal sum at the end of each year. No one will ever come forward to claim it. In accordance with the Federal banking Laws and constitution, the money will be diverted to the Government treasury bank account if nobody applies as the next of Kin to claim the funds.
Consequently, I shall be presenting you as a foreign partner to stand in as the next of kin to late Mr. Joseph Huber to enable you and I benefit from the fruits of his labour.
Upon acceptance of this proposal, I shall be giving you full details information on how this deal would be carried out. We shall employ the services of a solicitor for the drafting of the LAST WILL & TESTAMENT of Late Mr. Joseph Huber and to obtain all other relevant papers work in your name for the necessary documentation for the payment approval in my bank headquarters in your favor.
The money will be shared in the ratio: Sixty percent for me, thirty five percent for you and five percent for any arising contingencies during the course of this transaction.
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 to secure approvals and guarantee the successful execution of this transaction and please be informed that your utmost confidentiality is required.
If this interests you, please reply me immediately,please include your private telephone number for voice contact and fax number so I can provide you with more details and relevant documents that will help you understand the transaction.
I am waiting for your urgent reply.
Thanks and my warmest regards,
Deputy General Manager
Overseas Banking Department