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:
- "account opening" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Robert Foster <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 15:20:31 -0800 (PST)
Good day.I know that this mail will come to you as a Surprise in view ofthe fact that we are yet to meet or Discourse with each other nor hadprior Communication before but not to worry because the intention of this Correspondence meant well for both of us and also the one that shall open Doors of Opportunities between us and our families both now in the Near Future.
My Name is Mr Robert Kevin Forster From Great Britian.I was Born on 23rd August 1946.I am the Data Processing Officer with Habib Bank Uk.The Reason for Contacting you was informed by the Urgent Need at Hand being to secure the Opportunity that i Discovered 2 Weeks ago in the Course of my duty and i felt that opportunities such as this only Comes once in a life time and because of the time contraint under which this matter MUST be Concluded that is why i decided to contact you after an extensive Search from a profile that i got from the internet.Though Risky i want to believe that you shall be Trusted and NEVER expose this matter to my superiors but shall rather avail yourself also of this Opportunity as you and i work towards Concluding this matter in the Next Coming days before the Auditors who are Billed to Audit the Bank Books from this January ending sets in.
I Discovered the Sum of GBP8.9M Which the former Data Manager who died Exactly 16 days ago has carefully and secretly appropriated to himself and was about Concluding the securing and pulling out process before his Sudden death based on the Official document that i found in his File Cabinet and i decided to move swiftly to Claim this Money before
the Auditors finds out about this money because it is only Auditors that shall find out about this matter.
The Execution of this matter shall be very Simple and Direct.You shall open an Account with Habib Bank then i shall Transmit the details and amount to the Account you shall open then the Money shall be in your Account Name with the Bank after which an ATM card to either be in Master,Visa etc Cards shall be issued and Delivered Directly to your Address so that you start pulling the money in any Bank that has the card Facility alternatively you tell me your exact position /Location so that i check whether we have a Correspondent Banks in that place so that you open an Account with such a Bank and the Money here with Bank Habib Directly Wired to your Account.you Can contact me through this Phone number so that we Discuss further on this matter
In view of the Urgency of this matter i am willing to share with you this money in equal amount of 50% each but the Most important thing is that before i give you all the details that has to do with this issue we have to agree on so many things which shall include the Account Opening with the Bank and the Fees for the Special ATM ( for International Users) and also the security of my share because other than that i can fully assure you that this matter is 100% Risk free.I shall send to you the online Access of the Money so that you see it after we have agreed on the important aspects that has to do with this matter especially the security of my share since i shall be doing this Business with you on Blind
Mr Robert Kevin Foster