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:
- 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:
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "dormant account" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Andy Turner" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 12:09:58 +0200
I am Mr.Andy Turner, I work with a Bank here in UK, I obtained your particulars from an Internet address listing, and hence I am contacting you in confidence on this very urgent and confidential proposition that will be of mutual benefit to us all and our children.
In the cause of discharging my duties as a banker, I have discovered an account belonging to a Foreigner Mr Kunzel Bauer an Oil Consultant/Contractor here in my Country,who operated a domiciliary Account, valued at Twenty Five Million United States dollar in my branch, without presenting a usual information on his Next of Kin beneficiary, we accepted this due to the fact that Banks are conservative and will always honor a customer's wishes, especially high net worth customers.
For about four (4) years now, we have been looking forward to any vital information on the depositor, but it has been confirmed that the original depositor (Mr Kunzel Bauer ) has died in Australia, on making this discovery my Bank has been expecting the relative or next of kin of the original depositor to come up for the claim of this funds, but since no one has turned up for the claim and funds is still sitting in my Bank in the Dormant Account Portfolio, which I have been protecting awaiting the appropriate time to convert this funds for personal utilization. I therefore urge to come forward to and claim these funds. I will use my office to secure for and see that all the necessary legal documents to the funds are changed to your name.
I shall meet with you thus at the completion of the transaction for my own percentage as we will discuss at the indication of your interest to work with me.
I wait for your reply with your phone number.