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:
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- "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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- +447024064118 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: Dwight Lowe <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2011 02:59:30 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Urgent massage
Chairman Payment/Review Committee
Compliment of the day,
I am Dwight Lowe the acting Chairman Payment/Review Committee Building Societies Association (BSA), British Bank Association (BBA), National Savings and Investments.
A lot of dormant accounts are in the name of people who have died - many a long time ago. When the estates of these people went through probate the administrators failed to trace the accounts.
I have monitored three different dormant account for 6 years now valued at $7,000,000.00-----$9,800,000.00 -------$17,752,000.00. From all indication it does not have any record for future claims and will never be claimed or else I do please be the true beneficiary of the fund
I will come over to your country as soon as the transfer is over to receive my own share of the fund for further investments by your advice. Please I want you to understand that a stitch in time saves nine so write back and tell me if you really want to carry out this transaction with me.
From banking experience it will take up to four ( 4) working days to conclude this transfer. I sincerely need your help because this might be my first and last opportunity of hitting big money. I also would want you to treat this affair as both urgent, top secret and confidential. I want you to also know that this transaction will involve some expenses which will be shared among both of us.
This transaction it is flexible and risk free because it is going to follow legal procedures which will enable you merit the status of a true beneficiary and funds will be credited into your nominated bank account. Quickly forward your details to follow it up. Your full names, contact address, Cell phone, Occupation,
Every arrangement has been perfectly put in place to execute this project successfully without violating any law either here in United Kingdom or your country. I want us both utilize this opportunity please this is not a scam is an important and urgent and should not be considered as some kind of joke.
Let me quickly have your views and opinion on this matter or you call me for more Information