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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million 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)
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "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)
- "very confidential" (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.
- 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 (AOL Instant Messenger; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Gabriel Barba Chavez" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 03:51:06 -0700
Subject: Would You Want To Do Business With Me?
READ THIS EMAIL AND REPLY IMMIDIATELY
Greetings to you,
This letter must come to you as a big surprise, but I believe it is only a
day that people meet and become great friends/ business partners. I am Mr
Guillermo Barba Chavez, currently Head of Corporate Affairs Department with a
reputable bank here in Spain Banco La Caixa. I write you this proposal in
good faith, believing that I can trust you with the information I am about
to reveal to you.
I have an urgent and very confidential business proposition for you. On
June 5th, 2000, a German business tycoon Mr. Christian Eich made a (Fixed
deposit) for 60 calendar months, valued at US$ (Two Million Five hundred
Thousand Dollars only) in my bank and I happen to be his account officer
before I was moved to my present position recently. The maturity date for
this deposit contract was last 3rd of April 2008. Before this date, I have
tried my possible best to locate a Next of Kin to late Mr. Christian Eich,
but all efforts proved abortive, because all his family, including his Son
In-Law and children died in the plane crash of Concorde Air France Flight
AF4590 which took place on 25th July 2000, some months after he did the
deposit in my bank. You can read more story about the plane crash by
visiting this website; http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/859479.stm
With the recent change of government in my country and with their efforts
to support the United Nations in checkmating terrorism aid in Spain. By
end of Apirl next year, the Government will pass a new Financial Control
Law which will give the Government authority to interrogate account owners
of above $2.5 million Dollars to explain the source of the funds, making
sure it is not for terrorism support. If I do not move this money out of
the country immediately, by october this year the Government will definitely
confiscate the money, because my bank cannot provide the account owner to
explain the source of the money since he is late.
If you accept to work with me, I want you to state how you wish us to
share the funds in percentage, so that both parties will be satisfied. I
shall explain to you in details how we shall handle the transaction once I
receive your response. Thanking you in advance and may God bless you.
Please, treat with utmost confidentiality. I shall send you copy of the
deposit slip issued to Mr.Christian Eich when the deposit was made for
your perusal. I wait your urgent response.
Please reply to this email: email@example.com
Guillermo Barba Chavez