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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Bank of China" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2011 04:38:12 +0530
Subject: I await your response...
FROM: Mr. Han Quan
Bank of China (Hongkong)
Eastern Commercial Centre,
393-407 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai,Hong Kong.
It is understandable that you might be apprehensive because you do not
know me but I have a lucrative business proposal of mutual interest to
share with you. Permit me to introduce myself, I am Mr. Han Quan,
Foreign Operations Manager of the Bank of China (Hong kong), Eastern
Commercial Centre, Wan Chai Branch.
I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail
confidential and respect the integrity of the information you come by
as a result of this mail. I contacted you independently of our
investigation and no one is informed of this communication. I would
like to intimate you with certain facts that I believe would be of
interest to you.
Through my compilation of all accounts in my Bank, I discovered a
credit facility account with ref: bb/boc/bank/0012 and (? 8,967,075.00
Euros) deposited. On further trace, I came across the file and found
out that the account has be inactive (Dormant) for more than Ten (10)
years. The true owner of this funds/account was one Engineer Christian
Eich, a German who ran a car maker BMW's museum, unfortunately he lost
his Life, including his wife and two children in the plane crash
(Flight AF4590) which crashed on July 31st 2000 killing all 109 people
Details About The Plane Crash Visit The Website Below:
Regarding the short period of Twenty-One (21) working days allowed
confirming and submitting the reports to the Board of directors of my
Bank, which may lead to cancellation or terminating of the account,
and reverting it into the Government's Index account as excess overdue.
I have chosen to seek your consent to work with me as a team and pull
out this fund under the legitimacy as the heir apparent of Late
Engineer Christian Eich.
I want you to know that all modalities for the successful of this
transfer to you have been mapped out and success is 100% sure.
I have an attorney that will prepare the necessary documents that will
back you up as the next of kin to Late Engineer Christian Eich. All
that is required from you is to provide me with your Full Names and
Address, so that the attorney can commence his job.
After you have been made the next of kin, the attorney will file for
claims on your behalf and also secure the necessary approval and
letter of probate in your favor for the movement of the funds to an
account that will be provided by you. We are going to adopt a
legalized method because the attorney will prepare all necessary
documents in your favor. There is a reward for this project and it is
a task well worth undertaking.
There is no risk involved at all in our planned modalities, I have
evaluated the risks and the only risk I have here is your refusing to
work with me and alerting my bank.
I am the only one who knows of this situation, good fortune has
blessed you with a name that has planted you into the center of
relevance in my life.
Please endeavor to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning
this issue. Once the funds have been transferred to your nominated
bank account, we shall share in the ratio of 50% for me, 50% for you.
I send you this mail not without a measure of fear as to what the
consequences, but I know within me that nothing ventured is nothing
gained and that success and riches never come easy or on a platter of
Please observe these instructions religiously.
Should you be interested please send me your information listed below
FULL NAME AS DOCUMENTED
PHYSICAL CONTACT ADDRESS
TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBERS
ANY FORM OF IDENTITY
And finally after that, I shall furnish you with more information
about this operation.
Your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated.