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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Alexander Volkmer" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2014 03:15:00 +0100
Subject: PLEASE OPEN AND READ MORE INSIDE AND WRITE BACK TO ME.
My name is Dr. Alexander Volkmer 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 Bankers 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 -28,000 in December 1999. The published lists contain all types of dormant accounts, including interest-bearing savings accounts, securities accounts, safe deposit boxes, custody accounts, and non-interest-bearing transaction accounts.
Numbered accounts are also included. Interest is paid on accounts that were interests bearing when established? The Claims Resolution Tribunal (CRT) handles processing of all claims on accounts due non-Swiss citizens. I discovered a dormant account of SADOVAL PRAVIN with a credit balance of 28,000,000 US dollar plus accumulated interest. 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 the Europe Or America, being a 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 funds. All that is required is for you to provide me with your details for processing of the necessary legal and administrative claim documents for transfer of the funds to you.
Kindly provide me with your full name, address, and telephone/fax. All required documentation will be done by attorney to ensure that the fund is transferred to a secure, numbered account in your name in the Europe or America, of which you will be capable of 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.
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 lifetime of success without risks.
You can write me on this private E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Alexander Volkmer