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:
- "to 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)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: David Sidwell <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2011 10:49:58 +0000
Subject: URGENT ASSISTANCE FROM: MR. DAVID SIDWELL
URGENT ASSISTANCE FROM: MR. DAVID SIDWELL
FROM: DAVID SIDWELL
UBS INVESTMENT BANK
I DECIDED TO REACH YOU DIRECTLY AND PERSONALLY.PLEASE PERMIT ME TO INTRODUCE MYSELF, MY NAME IS DAVID SIDWELL. I AM THE JOINT GLOBAL HEAD OF INVESTMENT BANKING AND ALSO THE RISK MANAGER OF UBS INVESTMENT BANK LONDON.I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL RISK AND FINANCIAL POLICIES AT THE BANK.I AM COMPELLED TO CONTACT YOU DIRECTLY AFTER DUE CONSIDERATIONS CONCERNING A CONFIDENTIAL MATTER.
IF YOU ARE IN DOUBT OF MY PERSON,KINDLY VISIT UBS INVESTMENT BANK MANAGEMENT PROFILE (http://www.ubs.com/1/e/about/executivebodies/boardofdirectors.html) FOR COMFORTING IN THE DISCHARGE OF MY DUTY,I STUMBLED ON THIS DOME DOMICILIARY ACCOUNT THAT HAS REMAINED DORMANT FOR THREE YEARS WITH
THE TOTAL SUM OF EIGHT MILLION, FOUR HUNDRED & NINETY THOUSAND(8,490,000.00 GBP) GREAT BRITISH POUND STERLING.I CONTACTED THE BANK MANAGEMENT AND WE SENT OUT STAFFS FOR ENQUIRERS AND DISCOVERED THAT THE ACCOUNT HOLDER DIED IN AN ACCIDENT.
I AM WRITING YOU TO PLEASE STAND AS THE NEXT OF KIN OF THE ACCOUNT SO THAT WE CAN WORK TOGETHER TO REMIT THE MONEY TO YOU AS THE NEXT OF KIN,I HAVE MADE ENQUIRERS AND DISCOVERED THAT THE FUND OWNER DIED TOGETHER WITH HIS FAMINES AND NO NEXT OF KIN WAS LEFT.
I AM THE ONLY PERSON THAT KNOWS ABOUT THIS INFORMATION BECAUSE I AM THE RISK MANAGER AND THIS IS THE REASON I AM CONTACTING YOU TO ACT AS NEXT OF KIN TO THE FUND OWNER. I HAVE CERTIFIED MY ON SCIENCE TO COMPENSATE YOU ADEQUATELY AT ADEQUATELY AT THE END OF THE TRANSACTION.ALSO, I DO NEED TO INFORM YOU THAT THERE IS PRACTICALLY NO RISK INVOLVED IN THIS.
IT IS GOING TO BE A BANK-TO-BANK TRANSFER TO YOUR NOMINATED BANK ACCOUNT.I GUARANTEE THIS TRANSACTION UNDER LEGITIMATE ARRANGEMENTS THAT WILL NOT BREACH THE LAW BY BOTH PARTIES; IT IS A SIMPLE PROCESS WHICH WILL TAKE A SHORT WHILE IF YOU ARE WILLING. IF I HEAR FROM YOU, I WILL TELL YOU ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE TRANSACTION.
LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR RESPONSE ON MY EMAIL ADDRESS ABOVE.
GOD BLESS YOU
(JOINT GLOBAL HEAD OF INVESTMENT BANKING) UBS INVESTMENT BANK, LONDON,UNITED KINGDOM).