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:
- "huge deposit" (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 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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: mongan boko <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2010 17:58:05 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: From Mongan Boko
Attn: Dear One .
My name is Mr.Â BokoÂ MonganÂ an accountant with our bank here in Abidjan . I am the personal accounts manager to Eng. Anthony
. a National of your country, who used to work with an oil servicing company here in Cote Dâ Ivoire .
My client, his wife, and their three children were involved in the ill fated Kenya Airways crash in the coasts of Abidjan in January 2000 in which all passengers on board died. Since then I have made several inquiries to your embassy to locate any of my clients extended relatives but has been unsuccessful.
After several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to trace his last name over the internet, to see if I could locate any member of his family hence I contacted you.Â Of particular interest is this huge deposit with our bank here in, where the deceased has an account valued at about ($16 million US dollars).They have issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or the bank will declare the account unserviceable and thereby send the funds to the bank treasury.
Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over last 2 years now, I will seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased since you have the same last names, so that the proceeds of this account valued at ($16million USdollars) can be paid to you and then you and I can share the money.
All I require is your honest co-operation to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under all legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. In your reply mail, I want you to give me your full names, address date of birth, telephone and fax numbers. If you can handle this with me, contact me immediatelyÂ with the requested information.
Â I Expect to hear from you.