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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Fredrick Mock" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2010 20:25:47 -0700
Subject: MUTUAL BENEFIT
I am Mr.Fredrick Moca, I work with the Bank Of Scotland here in London.
I am writing you from my office because of an opportunity that will be
of an immense benefit for both of us. In my department, being the Manager
Credit and Foreign Bills(London Regional Office),I will need your assistance
in this business transaction.
I would like you to stand as the next of kin to my deceased client,Mr
Bonnie Wolters, who died in a plane crash in January 8,2007 plane
crash.Check the website for the details of the plane crash:
He was a construction magnate who made a deposit of (20,Million Britsh Pounds)
with our bank.He died without any registered next of kin and as such the
funds now have an open beneficiary mandate. And the banking ethics
here does not allow such money to stay more than seven years,because
the money will be recalled to the bank treasury as unclaimed bill
after this period.
On your confirmation of this message and indicating your interest, I
will furnish you with more details,Please endeavor to provide me the
following in your reply,Your TelePhone/Fax Number:
If this arrangement is okay by you, you can call or e-mail me for security
reasons other modalities will be discussed as soon as you get back to me.
Manager Credit and Foreign Bills
(London Regional Office)