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:
- "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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "EDWARD KONG" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 11 May 2011 20:05:11 -0700
Subject: FROM:EDWARD KONG
Forgive my indignation if this message comes to you as a surprise and may offend your personality for contacting you without your prior consent and writing through this channel. I got your contact from the professional database found in the internet when I was searching for a reliable foreigner who will assist me invest this fund.
I am MR EDWARD KONG, Vice President & Branch Manager of a bank here in United States America; I am contacting you based on Trust and confidentiality that will be attached to this transaction. The Management and the Legal department of our bank in a recent meeting in Hong Kong recommended that the account of MR.DAVID LAWRENCE ANGELL, who was one of my branch depositors, should be declared Dormant, confiscated and the depositor's fund sent to the Bank Treasury according to America Banking and financial law. He and his wife died in world trade center as victims of the September 11,2001 incident that befall the United States of America. The bank has made series of efforts to contact any of the relatives to claim this money but without success.
MR.DAVID LAWRENCE ANGELL is an account holder in my branch; he owns a dollar account with the sum of 58.2M (Fifty Eight Million, two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) deposited in a Secret account with my branch .In fact, since his death, no next of kin of the account holder nor any relative of him has shown up for the claim, this is because he has the account as a secret account thus he left all the documents for the deposit with my branch.
This is where I am interested and where I want you to come in. I want you to come in as the relation of the deceased; I will give you the relevant documents and contacts to file the application and then effect the approvals for the transfer of the funds, I will be the one to provide the vital documents for the claims of the money and then advise you exactly how we should handle it.
Please include your telephone/fax number/ Home address when replying, I will give you more information as soon as you indicate your willingness to assist in this transaction. I will use my positions to get all internal documentations to back up the claims. Do not be bothered that you are not related in any way to him as I am in position to affix your name as the next of kin. The whole Procedures will last for 14-28 working days to get the fund retrieved successfully without trace even in future. After the transfer of the money we shall share the money 60-40, which I will have 60% while you will have 40%.
Kindly respond promptly so that I can advice you on the next step to follow.
I will be waiting to hear from you.
Mr. Edward Kong