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:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Chun Wing" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 15:31:31 -0800
Subject: *** SPAM ? ***To Whom It May Concern
I am Mr.Chun Wing a transfer supervisor operations in Investment section in Bank of China Ltd, Hong Kong.I have a Obscured business suggestion for you. Before the US and Iraqi war our client General Mohammed Mostapha who was with the Iraqi forces and also business man Made a numbered fixed deposit for 18 calendar months, with a Value of Nineteen millions Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars only in my branch. Upon maturity several Notice was sent to him, even during the war early this year.
Again after the war another notification was Sent and still no response came from him. We later find out That the general and his family had been killed during the War in bomb blast that hit their home. After further investigation it was also discovered that General Mohammed Mostapha did not declare any next of kin in His official papers including the paper work of his bank Deposit. And he also confided in me the last time he was at
My office that no one except me knew of his Deposit in my bank. So, Nineteen millions Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars is still lying in my bank and No one will ever come forward to claim it. What bothers me Most is that according to the to the laws Of my country at the expiration 5 years the funds will Revert to the ownership of the Hong Kong Government if Nobody applies to claim the funds.
Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I will Like you as a foreigner to stand as the next of kin to General Mohammed Mostapha So that you will be able to receive his funds. Please endeavor to observe utmost discretion in all Matters concerning this issue. Once the funds have been Transferred to your nominated bank account we shall share in The ratio of 60% for me, 40% for you.If Interested send your response to this email address:
Mr Chun Wing