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:
- "trunk box" (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)
- "transfer into your 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)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Jackson Amani" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2012 08:34:15 -0000
Subject: Re: Please, assist me stand claim on this consignment.
Crystal Trust Finance & Security Company.
First Light Kaneshie Accra Ghana
My Dear ,
I got your contact on Site during my on-line search for a reliable, trust
worthy and honest person to introduce this transfer Investment project
My name is Mr. Jack Amani, On February 2004, One Mr Hussien Omar from Iraq
National, a Gold dealer who runs Gold business in Ghana to Asia, whom i
was accounting officer made a numbered time Deposited a trunk box, valued
at USD$11,600,000.00 (Eleven Million, Six Hundred Thousand United States
dollars) for twelve calendar months in our company.
I am the Chief Security officer Crystal Trust financial Company, First
Light Kaneshie, Accra Ghana. I am a Ghanaian married with three kids.
Upon Maturity of the deposit, we sent a routine notification to his
forwarding address but got no reply. After a month, we sent a reminder and
finally we discovered that Mr. Hussien Omar from Iraq, his wife and two
children and wife's parents has died with his family in a bomb blast in
My investigation proved that he died with his supposed next- of- kin in
the bomb blast. The trunk box amounting USD$11,600,000.00 is still in our
company and the demur rage is being rolled over with the principal sum at
the end of each year. No one will ever come forward to claim it.
Therefore, I am contacting you to seek your permission to present you as
the Next of Kin to our late customer Mr. Hussein Omar from Iraq.
Consequently, upon acceptance of this proposal, I will give you a detailed
information on how this deal would be carried out. I shall send to you all
the three legal vital documents our customer Mr. Hussein Omar used to make
the deposit. My position as the chief security officer made it possible
for me to have access to those documents.
The money will be shared in the ratio: (60%) for me, (35%) for you, the
remaining (5%) will be kept to recover any expenses made during the
process of the transfer into your account which include our telephone
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that
will protect you from any breach of the law for I will use my position as
the chief security of OPERATIONS' officer to secure approvals and
guarantee the successful execution of this transaction.
I want you to handle everything for me. I have the trust in you and I know
that you will not disappoint me; I don't need to know you for many years
to trust you.
NOTE: As a result of the numerous scam e-mails you and I receives on daily
basis, I have set aside my life savings as a security Officer in this
company to make sure that we bring this transaction to it's logical
conclusion without asking you for any money until you receive this Package
in your country.
Please be informed that your utmost confidentiality is required.
Awaiting your urgent reply through my private
Mr . Jackson Amani.