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:
- "million united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Robert Nadin" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2011 03:19:01 -0000
Subject: Read and get back to me
Compliments of the day
I want to transfer to overseas (US$12,000,000.00 ) twelve million United States Dollars from a Bank in Ghana , I want to ask you to quietly look for
a reliable and honest person who will be capable and fit to provide either an existing bank account or to set up a new Bank a/c immediately to
receive this money, even an empty a/c can serve to receive this money, as long as you will remain honest to me till the end for this important
business trusting in you and believing in God that you will never let me down either now or in future.
I am Mr.Robert Nadin, the Auditor General of International Commercial bank in Ghana , during the course of our auditing I discovered a floating
fund in an account opened in the bank in 2007 and since 2009 nobody has operated on this account again, after going through some old files in the
records I discovered that the owner of the account died without a [heir] hence the money is floating and if I do not remit this money out urgently
it will be forfeited for nothing. The owner of this account is Mr. Simone Leon, a foreigner, and a sailor, who is deceased since 2008. No other
person knows about this account or any thing concerning it, the account has no other beneficiary and my investigation proved to me as well that
Simone Leon until his death was the manager Magnus Coy. (Pty). SA.
I want to transfer this money into a safe foreigners account abroad, but I don't know any foreigner, I am only contacting you as a foreigner because this
money can not be approved to a local person here, without valid international foreign passport, but can only be approved to any foreigner
with valid international passport or drivers license and foreign a/c.The former owner of the a/c Mr. simone Leon is a foreigner too, [and the money
can only be approved into a foreign a/c
However, we will sign a binding agreement, to bind us together, I am revealing this to you with believe in God that you will never let me down
in this business, you are the first and the only person that I am contacting for this business, so please reply urgently so that I will
inform you the next step to take urgently. Send also your private telephone and fax number including the full details of the account to be
used for the deposit.
I want us to meet face to face to build confidence and to sign a binding agreement that will bind us together before transferring the money to any
account of your choice where the fund will be safe. Before we fly to your country for withdrawal, sharing and investments.
I need your full co-operation to make this work fine, because the management is ready to approve this payment to any foreigner who has
correct information of this account, which I will give to you, upon your positive response and once I am convinced that you are capable and will
meet up with instruction of a key bank official who is deeply involved with me in this business. I need your strong assurance that you will
never, never let me down.
With my influence and the position of the bank official we can transfer this money to any foreigner's reliable account which you can provide with
assurance that this money will be intact pending our physical arrival in your country for sharing. The bank official will destroy all documents of
transaction immediately we receive this money leaving no trace to any place and to build confidence you can come immediately to discuss with me
face to face after which I will make this remittance in your presence and three of us will fly to your country at least two days ahead of the money
going into the account.
I will apply for annual leave to get visa immediately I hear from you that you are ready to act and receive this fund in your account. I will use my
position and influence to obtain all legal approvals for onward transfer of this money to your account withappropriate clearance from the relevant ministries and foreign exchange
Your assistance to transfer this money successfully is vital. Your percentage is assured.
I look forward to your earliest reply