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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "srea chour" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2011 08:00:34 +0700
Subject: Your Mail: Dear Friend.
Your Mail: Dear Friend.
My name is Mr.S. Chour, a Business Manager with First Commercial Bank
(Cambodia office), am as well an account officer to a deceased customer of
our bank, that shares the same last name as yours who died with his wife and
two children along Cambodian Thai-way on November 16th 2004. His account of
US$32,525,000.00 million with us has been unclaimed due to unavailability of
next of kin/relatives to claim his estate. In accordance with the es cheat
laws in Cambodia as a kingdom, the Board of Directors of the bank met forth
night ago and resolved to turn the estate of the deceased over to Government
pause having waited for too long without the deceased relatives/next of kin
surfacing property and if this is done, invariably, the funds will end up to
become Government property and it is as a result of this that am moved to
contact you considering the fact that you share almost the same name with
the deceased . Hope the money will be intact pending until my physical
arrival at your end for sharing?
In view of this, am seeking your cooperation and understanding to stand as
the deceased next of kin to enable us claim the inheritance before the
period given by the bank elapse. All I require is your honest co-operation
and I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement
that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please accept my apologies
and keep my confidence. At the end of the transfer you shall have 40% of the
Considering the money involved, and due to the nature of this transaction,
it is necessary for you to be sure of whom you are transacting with. I want
to be sure that you are ready, to execute this transaction with me, What I
expect from you is trust and commitment, I want this large sum of money
transferred with your assistance and you should have nothing to worry about
regarding legality at all because what affects you shall also affects me
too, but I will appreciate you to follow my directives amicably as
everything shall be done in accordance passing through all international
banking laws, and as a banker I know that if we follow up this transaction
diligently it would be completed within 14 working days.
Do not fail to get back to me as soon as you have receive this mail to
enable us discuss further, with your telephone and fax numbers for easy
communication and oral discussion.
I await your prompt reply on this.