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:
- ",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)
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- "foreign payment department" (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.
- 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.
- +447045706827 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Patrick Mc" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2012 00:39:46 +0200
Subject: Mr. Patrick McDonnell from Manchester
Hello my good friend,
My Name is Mr. Patrick McDonnell from Manchester City UK.
I am the Head of Computing Dept & Finance Director of London Scottish Bank Plc here in United Kingdom.
There is an account opened in this bank in 2003 and since my inception into office on 2nd Jan 2009, I then found this account and when I investigated deeply by contacting the assigned Next of Kin I also found that the Next of Kin to the account was an American who lived in London for over 63Yrs and nobody has operated on this account since after 2004. I took the courage to look for a reliable and honest person who will be capable to handle the materializing for this important transaction, in order to transfer out $100,000,000 (One Hundred Million U.S Dollars)
After going through some old files, I discovered that if I do not remit this money out urgently, it will be forfeited for nothing and the London Scottish Bank Plc management might divert the funds to her accounts. Please respond immediately and I will use my position and influence to effect the legal approval and onward transfer of this fund into your account with appropriate clearance from foreign payment department. You will stand to get 40% while 60% will be for me. Kindly quote the reference (Acc) numbers above when responding to this mail.
I will furnish you in with more details upon your reply.
You can call me directly on this private telephone number so that we can discuss more on how to transfer these funds to your designated account in your country. Tel:+ 44 70457 06827
I look forward to your affirmative response.
Mr. Patrick McDonnell
Tel :+ 44 70457 06827