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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "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: "michaela klemt" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 21:54:28 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: Dear Friend
I am Mr. Wilfred Bamba.foreign remittance director with our Bank. I know that this email will come to you as a surprise and I hope that you will not expose or betray this trust and confident that Im about to repose on you for mutual benefits for our families.
I need your urgent assistance to transfer the sum of ($8.2 Million USD) Eight million two hundred thousand United States dollars to your account within Fourteen banking days. In my department I discovered an abandoned sum of ($8.2 Million USD) Eight million two hundred thousand United States dollars in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer who died without any nomination of the next of kin to the bank. Since we got information about his death, we have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot release it unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking policies but unfortunately for years now non of his relations has applied for the claim..
It is on this discovery that I decided to make this business proposal to you and seek your assistance in transferring the fund. My plan is that the fund will be released to you as the next of kin or relation to the deceased. The request of a foreigner as next of kin in this business is occasioned by the fact that the customer was a foreigner and a African cannot stand as next of kin to a foreigner. I have agreed that 50 % of this money will be for you as a foreign partner, and 50 % would be for me. There after I will visit your country for disbursement according to the percentages indicated in my transfer proposal.
Therefore, to enable the transfer of this fund to any account you may provide, you must apply first to the bank as relations or next of kin of the deceased. The bank will approve the fund to you on procedural banking process of cash transfer. Whatever information the bank requires concerning the fund from you will be provided by me.
On receiving your reply, I will give you details on how the business will be executed. Please kindly contact me as soon as you receive this proposal. Indicate your interest by providing the following information bellow. contact me with this email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
1. Your full name:
2. Your contact cell phone number:
3. Your age:
4. Your sex:
contact me with this email (email@example.com)