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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "you will be entitled to 30%" (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)
- "confidentiality of this transaction" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "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)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (Yahoo, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Dema Fahim <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2011 23:45:40 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: FROM: MRS. DEMA FAHIM
FROM: MRS. DEMA FAHIMREMITTANCE DIRECTOR;Arab National Bank; Saudi Arabia.RIYADH - KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA.
E-mail contact: email@example.com
It is my humble pleasure to write you this confidential letter irrespective of the fact that you do not know me. Hence, I solicit your strictest confidence in this transaction, this is by virtue of it's nature as being utterly confidential and top secret as I am writing you in confidence for good relationship. My Names are MRS. DEMA FAHIM; I am the REMITTANCE DIRECTOR in the Arab National Bank. I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us.
During my Auditing of the Bank's Accounts for last month, I came across a very huge sum of money belonging to a deceased person (MR. FIKRI HAYTHAM). An Iraqi Citizen who was among the people that Died during the recent war in Iraq. His death occurred was so unfornately because he was an Oil Magnate here in Saudi-Arabia and he has some companies in Iraq because his Family based there. During his visit to Oversee his companies and entire Family in Iraq last year, the recent War started in Iraq and he died along with his Family. Before his Death, he had the sum of US$35Million in a Fixed Deposit Account in this Bank and the Money matured since November last year.
Before I made up my mind to contact you, I have concluded every arrangement to ensure that you receive the funds successfully as the next of kin. Also I have put in place necessary machinery for a hitch free transfer of this Money to your Bank Account nominate in any part of the world. All I need from you mostly is your trustworthiness, Honesty and good cooperation. Based on that, send me immediately your name, telephone numbers, office or Residential address, company name and Fax number (if any), and your Bank account particulars where the fund will be transferred into for you. Because you shall be officially regarded as the New Beneficiary/ Next of Kin that will be Legally approved as the entitled owner of the US$35Million. As soon as the Money is transferred and confirmed into your account, you will be entitled to 30% of the total sum as gratification, while 70% will be for me. Later on, I must invest my 70% in your country based on your advice and
you will be the administrator of all the investments that I shall have in your country pending when I will resign from the Services of this Bank.
I have a plan to resign my job upon your receipt of the fund in your account. This sum of US$35M is presently Floating in an account here in this Bank and No one will ever come forward to claim it and according to the Law of my country, at the expiration of Two (2) years the money will revert to the ownership of the State (Government) if nobody applies to claim the fund. This prompted me to contact you. I contacted you because it is against our code of ethics to own and operate foreign accounts and I shall raised all necessary documents in your name which shall legally prove/ confirm you as the actual next of kin to the Former/Late beneficiary. This is simple, I will like you to provide immediately your full names and address so that the lawyer will prepare the necessary documents for the drafting and notarization of the WILL and obtain the Vital documents and letter of probate/administration in your favor to show that you are the next of kin to the
There is no risk involved at all, the paperwork for this transaction will be done legally, this will guarantee the successful execution of the transaction. If you are interested, please reply immediately, upon your response, I shall provide you with more details and relevant documents that will help you understand the transaction better. Note that if you are Afraid of Sending me your account information, I suggest that you Open a New Account with Zero Balance (NO MONEY INSIDE) and we shall effectively use it for this transaction provided that it can be able to Accommodate the Funds. I require you to maintain the confidentiality of this transaction because it is important due to the fact that I am still in active services with the ARAB NATIONAL BANK.
Immediately I receive your response indicating your interest, I shall send you more details. Remember that your Faithfulness, and Confidentiality is mostly required. Please send your reply to this mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks and regards,MRS. DEMA FAHIMREMITTANCE DIRECTOR;Arab National Bank; Saudi Arabia.