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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Jason Smith <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 05 Jul 2010 00:06:22 +0200
My name is Mr.Jason smith, I am the credit manager in a bank here in
Kingdom. I am contacting you of a business transfer, of a huge sum of money
from a deceased account. Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude
will make any one apprehensive and worried, but I am assuring you that
everything has been taken care off, and all will be well at the end of
I decided to contact you due to the urgency of this transaction.
am the account officer of a foreigner named Richard Burson who died in an air
crash along with his wife on the 31st October 1999 in an Egyptian airline 990
with other passengers on board. You can confirm this from the website below
which was published by BBC WORLD NEWS. WEBSITE.
Since his death, none of his next-of-kin are alive to make claims for this
money as his heir, because they all died in the same accident himself and his
wife (May their soul rest in peace). We cannot release the fund from his
account unless someone applies for claim as the next-of-kin to the deceased as
indicated in our banking guidelines. Upon this discovery, I now seek your
permission to have you stand as a next of kin to the deceased, as all
documentations will be carefully worked out by me for the funds
seven million eight hundred thousand pounds to be released in your
favor as the
beneficiary's next of kin. Because after twelve years the money will
back to the bank treasury as unclaimed bills and the money shared amongst the
directors of the bank. so it is on this note i decided to seek for whom his
name shall be used as the next of kin/beneficiary to this funds rather than
allow the bank directors to share this money amongst themselves at the end of
the year. It may interest you to know that we have secured from the probate an
order of mandamus to locate any of the deceased beneficiaries. Please
acknowledge receipt of this message in acceptance of our mutual business
endeavor by furnishing me with the following information if you are
1. A Beneficiary name..In order for me to prepare the document for transfer of
the funds in your name.
2. Direct Telephone and fax numbers...For our personal contact and
in each other. (50/50)share for both party 50% comes to my account and 50% to
our account. I intend to retire after the conclusion of this transaction.
If this proposal is acceptable by you, please endeavor to contact me
immediately via my personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not take undue
advantage of the trust I have bestowed in you, I await your urgent mail.
N.B. Please note that you will not be responsible for any financial cost in
this transaction.It will be taken care of.