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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million us 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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Ahmed Usman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2010 02:06:00 GMT
Subject: FROM THE DESK OF MR.AHMED USMAN
FROM THE DESK OF MR.AHMED USMAN
MANAGER AUDITING AND ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT,
BANK OF AFRICA (B.O.A) OUAGADOUGOU-BURKINA FASO
COMPLIMENT OF THE DAY.
I know that this message will come to you as a surprise, Please do notassume this to be another internet joke, I am MR. AHMED USMAN the managerof auditing and accounting department of BANK OF AFRICA (B.O.A) herein Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. I hoped that you will not expose orbetray this trust that I am about to impose on you for mutual benefitof our families.
After the annual auditing of the year 2008/2nd quarter of 2009,I discovered an abandoned/stagnant sum of $10m dollars (Ten Million US dollars) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer(MR. RICHARD BURSON from Florida, U.S.A) who died along with his entire family on November 1999 in a plane crash. For more information's about the crash you can visit this site:
Since we got the information about his death, we have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money because we can not release it unless some body applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines and laws, but unfortunately we learn that all his supposed next of kin or relation died alongside with him at the plane crash leaving nobody behind for the claim.
It is therefore upon this discovery that I now decided to make this business proposal to you, so that the money can be release to you as the next of kin or relation to the deceased for safety and subsequent disbursement since nobody will come for it and I don't want this money to go into the bank treasury as unclaimed dormant fund.
The banking law and guideline here stipulates that if such money remained unclaimed after ten years the money will be transferred into the bank treasury as unclaimed dormant fund. The request of foreigner as next of kin in this business is occasioned by the fact that the customer was a foreigner and a Burkinabe like me can not stand as next of kin to a foreigner. I agreed that 40% of this money will be for you as a respect to the provision of a foreign account,
10% will be set aside for expenses incurred during the business and 50% would be for me.Thereafter, I will visit your country for disbursement according to the percentage indicated Therefore, to enable the immediate transfer of this fund into your account, you must first apply to the bank as relation or next of kin to the deceased customer with a text of application that I will send to you, but before I send to you the text of application form,I will like you to send me the following information's:
8.PRIVATE PHONE NO...........................
9.PRIVATE FAX NO:............................
so I will like you to send to me those information's for easy andeffective communication.Upon receipt of your reply, I will send to you by fax or email thetext of the application form. I will not fail to bring to your noticethat this transaction is hitch-free and that you should not entertainany atom of fear as all required arrangements have been made for thetransfer. You should contact me immediately as soon as you receive
Trusting to hear from you immediately.
MANAGER AUDITING AND ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT
BANK OF AFRICA