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 us 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Fred Gamba" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2011 07:26:59 +0000
Subject: GOOD DAY FRIEND..........
I decided to write you this proposal in good faith, believing that you will not betray me.I have been in search of someone with the same last name of our late customer and close friend of mine (Mr. Richard), hence I contacted you because both of you bear the same surname and coincidentally from the same country, and I was pushed to contactyou and see how best we can assist each other. Meanwhile I am Mr. Fred Gamba , a reputable banker here in Accra Ghana .
On the 15 March 2007, the young millionaire (Mr. Richard),a citizen of your country and Crude Oil dealer made a fixed deposit with my bank for 36 calendar months, valued at US$7,500,000.00 (Seven Million, Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars) and the mature date for this deposit contract was on 31st of January, 2011. But sadly he was among the death victims in the 12 May 2008, Earthquake disaster in China that killed over 5,000 people. Because he was in China on a business trip and that was how he met his end.
My bank management is yet to know about his death, but I knew about it because he was my friend and I am his Account Relationship Officer, and he did not mention any Next of Kin/ Heir when the account was opened, because he was not married and no children. Last week my Bank Management requested that Richard should give instructions on what to do about his funds, if to renew the contract or not. I know this will happen and that is why I have been looking for a means to handle the situation, because if my Bank Directors happens to know that he is dead and do not have any Heir, they will take the funds for their personal use, so I don't want such to happen. That is why I am seeking your co-operation to present you as the Next of Kin/ Heir to the account, since you bear same last name with the deceased customer.
There is no risk involved; the transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of law. It is better that we claim the money, than allowing the Bank Directors to take it, they are rich already. I am not a greedy person, so I am suggesting we share the funds in this ratio, 50/50%, i.e. equal.
Let me know your mind on this and please do treat this information highly confidential.
I will review further informations / details to you as soon as I receive your positive reply in my private email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) Have a nice day and I Anticipating your communication. RegardsMr. Fred GambaTel : +233 261569851