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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mihai Andrei" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 07:37:39 -0800 (PST)
I am Mr. Mihai Andrei, the Auditor General, Bond Finance Limited Uk. In the
course of my auditing, I discovered a floating fund in an account which was
opened in 1990 belonging to a dead foreigner Late Mr. K. P.J
Michelle, who died in 1999. Every effort made to track any member of his
family or next of kin has since failed; hence I got in contact with you to
as his next of kin since I can use my position here to get all the necessary
documents that will back you up as the next of Kin. He died leaving no
heir or a will.
My intention is to transfer this sum of $15.5M in the aforementioned
account to a safe account overseas. I am therefore proposing that you
with me and provide an account or set up a new one that will serve the
receiving this fund. For your assistance in this venture, I am ready to part
with a good percentage of the entire funds. After going through the deceased
person's records and files, I discovered that:
(1) No one has operated this account since 1999
(2) He died without an heir; hence the money has been floating.
(3) No other person knows about this account and there was no known
If I do not remit this money urgently, it would be forfeited and subsequently
converted to company's funds which will benefit only the directors of my
firm. This money can be approved to you legally as with all the necessary
approvals in your name. However, you would be required to show some proof of
claim which I will provide you with and also guide you on how to make your
Please do give me a reply so that I can send you detailed information on the
modalities of my proposition. I completely trust you to keep this proposition
absolutely confidential. Kindly forward your telephone and fax numbers
where I can reach you easily. I look forward to your prompt response.
You can reach me with the below email address: email@example.com