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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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.
- 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 (Yahoo, France; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Nduka" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2009 07:38:45 -0700
Chief.Morgan A Nduka,
Accountant Operation Department
My dear friend
I crave your indulgence as I contact you in such a surprising manner and I want you to bear in mind that this is not a hoax but I respectfully insist you read this email carefully as I am optimistic it will open door for unimaginable financial reward for both of us. I am Mr.Morgan Nduka, I'm the personal Accountant and a very good friend to late EngrGrissom ,a foreigner, who used to be an Oil Merchandise here in Nigeria. On The 21st of April 2005,my client, his wife and their only daughter were involved in a car accident along Sagbama Express Road.
All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives.Since then I have made several inquiries to locate any of my client's extended relatives and this has been unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to track his name over the Internet to locate any member of his family or any close name to his, hence I contacted you, I am contacting you to assist in repatriating the money left behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Bank, where this huge amount US$7.9million were lodged.
The Bank has issued me a notice to provide the next-of kin / Relative or have the fund confiscated within the next 21 Banking days. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 3 year now, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin/Relative of the decease since you have the same last name with him so that this US$7.9million can be transferred into your account and then you and I will share this fund in the ratio of 50% FOR YOU AND 50% FOR ME for our individual roles in the transaction.
All I require is your honest co-operation and confidentiality to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.Since you are ready and interested to work with me sincerely and honestly, I advise you to re-confirm to me as the Accountant to the decease, I will invariably and inevitably become your adviser and will feed you with all the necessary information you will need to proceed on.
My dear, it is my expectation and believe that with this you will be absolutely satisfied and assured that you are on safe ground. I am quite sure that we are going to work out together to your satisfaction. Also,it is through your phone,or email that is the best means of the Bank getting across to you.Thank you for your anticipated co-operation and assistance while unequivocally assuring you of my genuineness.
IF YOU ADHERE STRICTLY TO MY INSTRUCTIONS, THIS DEAL WILL BE OVER IN FOURTEEN (14) WORKING DAYS.PLEASE IN YOUR REPLY DO SEND ME THIS INFORMATION AS STATED ABOVE:
1) YOUR FULL NAME AND ADDRESS:
2) OFFICE ADDRESS (IF DIFFERENT FROM 2 ABOVE):
3) TEL/MOBILE NUMBER (PRIVATE):
4) MARITAL STATUS:
HAVE A GREAT DAY WITH YOUR FAMILY.
Chief.Morgan A. Nduka (Acc).
My My private Tel:+234813 681-5470 (PLS CALL ME URGENT)
My private e-mail:email@example.com