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:
- "million us 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)
- "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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mike Komo <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 10:36:27 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: My Friend
The deal is concerning my late client who has similar last name with you and who hails from your country.This client died leaving the sum of $16 million dollars with our bank,and since then the bank is worried about the fund and the bank has asked me (as the account manager to the late customer)to find any relation of the late customer for claim of the fund. But I know that the late customer(Engr.) died with all his immediate family as a result of the incident.This is why I have to conduct a search over the internet to see if I can get some one(worthy) with similar names so that I will present him to the bank as the late customers next of kin to enable us claim the $16 million. So,I have contacted you because the bank board have issued me a notice to provide the next of kin of the deceased customer or the bank will declare the account unservisable and confiscate the funds to the bank treasury.
Because I would not want the bank to confiscate the fund and since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over last 6 years now, I want to seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the late customer , so that the proceeds of this account valued at ($16.million US dollars) can be paid to you as the late Engineer's next of kin . After the successful transfer I and you will share the money when I come to your country.
All I require is your honest co-operation to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that this deal will be executed under all legitimate arrangement that will protect us from any breach of the law. I am not contacting because you know or you are related to this late Engineer,hence you are aware that all my efforts to locate any direct family member of the late Engineer proved unsucessful for the past years,and this is why I have contacted you to carry on the deal with you(Hope you understand better now?). I want to assure you that I did not just wake up and decide to do this, I have did my proper home work before contacting you and I want to asure you that this is not a joke. I work with Bank Atlantique Abidjan Côte d Ivoire, I am presently the director of Audit & records of my bank. I have worked with this bank for more than 10yrs now and I want to assure you that if I am not sure that this deal will work, I would not have thought of doing it
nor contacting you.
You should go ahead and send your information/datas(ie:your full names, address, date of birth, telephone and fax numbers) When I receive the information ,I will work on the original account file of the deceased customer to fill your datas as the new next of kin and thereafter forward you an application form which you will send to our bank officially for the claims. I really want us to treat everything concerning this transaction with uttermost secrecy,therefore I will not accept the involvement of third party in this deal.
Thank you very much.