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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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)
- "is highly confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Miu Ming <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2011 08:27:06 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Please get in touch
Internet would not have been the best way to reach you but since this letter is highly confidential and the Internet seems to be the most secured and fastest way of
communication, I decided to reach you by this means. I am Mr. Ming Mui, Manager and Vice President of The Bank of East Asia, Canal Street Main Branch, New York, United
State of America.
Kindly note that this message is un-official and personal and as such should be kept highly confidential so I plead with you to kindly keep it as such. I am contacting you base
on a recent meeting held by the management of my bank which an account of Late WILLIAM AUCOIN (Deceased) who died Monday, June 28, 2010 of prostate cancer at
the Aventura Hospital and Medical Center in Aventura, Florida was declared dormant and should be confiscated and the fund sent to the bank treasury.
Late WILLIAM AUCOIN was an account holder in my bank and I was his account officer. He has a secret Dollar account worth the sum of $58,200,000.00 (Fifty Eight
Million, Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars). Since his death, the management of my bank has made series of efforts to locate any of his family members
but all efforts were unsuccessful. Late WILLIAM AUCOIN as a matter of fact used his wife as the Next of Kin to this account but unfortunately, his wife died years back leaving
him with no beneficiary to this account. This is what has really made me sad because if the wife was alive, she would have easily claimed the fund long ago and this is why I am
contacting and where I want you to come in.
My bank in a short while would declare the account dormant, confiscated and the fund would be sent to the bank treasury which means the fund would be taken by the bank. I
will not let such happen because this fund was kept under my care as the account officer to the late depositor. I will never forgive myself if I allow the bank confiscate this fund
because he told me before he died that incase he dies, I should do everything in my power to donate part of the fund to the less privileged and part of it given to any one I
chose to be the beneficiary to this account and the remaining part should be taken by me.
I want you to come in as the Next of Kin/Beneficiary to this account. I have all the titled documents to back your claim and as the Vice President and Manager of this branch, it is
in my power to carry out any form of verification on the beneficiary of the said account, process the fund and wire without any problem. I want you to know that this is legal and
100% risk free as all the titled documents would be changed to your name and the fund wired to any bank account you wish to have it transferred.
Kindly note that my work and position would be at risk should anything go wrong so I need you to think about this and get back to me and I will give you further details on how
this can be handled successfully and without any problem. I am also using this medium to inform you that this is very simple and fast and I would be the one to handle
everything and all I would need from you is absolute trust and confidentiality.
Kindly respond as soon as possible so I can give you further details.
Mr. Ming Mui