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 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)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.Benjamin Orji" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 2011 18:11:13 +0800 (CST)
Subject: Attn: My Dear Friend,
From Dr.Benjamin Orji.
Bill and Exchange manager
(A.D.B) African Development Bank of Benin
REMITTANCE OF (US$18.5. Million) CONFIDENTIAL IS THE CASE.
Attn: My Dear Friend,
I am the manager of bill and exchange at the foreign remittance
department in the African Development Bank (A.D.B). In my department we
discovered an abandoned sum of US$18.5m dollars (EIGHTEEN MILLION FIVE
HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS) in an account that belongs to one of our
foreign customer (MR. ANDREAS SCHRANNER from Munich, Germany) who died
along with his entire family on (Monday 31st July 2000) in a plane
crash. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT THIS SITE BELOW:
( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/859479.stm )
Since we got information about his death, we have been expecting his
next of kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot release
it unless some body applies for it as next of kin or relation to the
deceased as indicated in our banking gilding 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 and release the money to you as the next of kin
or relation to the deceased for safety and subsequent disbursement
since nobody is coming for it and we don't want this money to go into
the bank treasury as unclaimed bill.
The banking law and guideline here stipulates that if such money
remained unclaimed after ELEVEN years, the money will be transferred
into the bank treasury as unclaimed 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 Benin indigence cannot stand as next of kin to a
I agree that 30% 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 60% 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 to
you arranged, you must apply first to the bank as relation or next of
kin of the deceased indicating your bank name, your bank account number,
your private telephone and fax number for easy and effective
communication and location where in the money will be remitted.
Upon receipt of your reply, I will send to you by fax or email the text
of the application .I will not fail to bring to your notice that this
transaction is hitch-free and you should not entertain any atom of fear
as all required arrangements have been made for the transfer.
You should contact me immediately as soon as you receive this letter. Trusting to hear
from you immediately.
+229 97 685579