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:
- "good day friend" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- ",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)
- "% will be for you" (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)
- "dormant account" (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 free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Peterson Morgan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 03:25:31 +0200
Subject: Re-Dear Friend
Good day friend,
My name is Morgan Peterson and I work with the finance house here in the Netherlands. I found your address through my countries international Web directory. During our last meeting and examination of the bank accounts here in the Netherlands, my department found a dormant account with an enormous sum of US$ 6,500,000.00 (Six million five hundred thousand US dollar) which was deposited by late Mr. Williams from England.
Before his death he transferred the sum of US$ 6,500,000.00 (Six million five hundred thousand US dollar) to a bank here in Netherlands. From our investigation he had no beneficiary or next of kin to claim these funds.
Because of our financial house regulations only one foreigner can stand as next relatives or next of kin. The request of a foreigner as a next of kin is base on the fact that the depositor was a foreigner and somebody in the Netherlands cannot stand as the next of kin.
I need your permission as the next relative or next of kin of our deceased customer, so that the funds can be released and transferred to your account.
We need a foreign account. I still work at the financial house and that's the actual reason that I need a second party or person, to stand and work with me and apply to the bank here in the Netherlands as the next of kin. I have in my possession all the necessary documents to have this transaction carried out successfully. At the end of the transaction 40% will be for you and 60% will be for me and my colleague.
Further information will be provided upon the receipt of your prompt response and I want you to know that there is no risk involved. I will need us to work together if you are interested and I assure you that I will provide all useful information and documentation that will enable us transfer these funds into your bank account legally without any problem.
Write me directly with your Name, Address, telephone and fax number so I can explain to you the procedures on this email email@example.com