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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "you will be entitled to 30%" (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Aliu Ahmed <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2012 07:46:57 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Please I Need Your Urgent Reply
I know that this mail will come to you as a surprise as we have never meet before, but you need not to worry as I am using the only secured and confidential medium available to seek for your foreign assistance in a business.I am Mr Aliu Ahmed the director in charge of credit and exchange section of Bank Of Africa,(BOA) Ouagadougou Burkina-faso West Africa with due respect and regard. I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us at the end of the transaction.
During our investigation and auditing in this bank, my department came across a very huge sum of money belonging to a deceased person who died on Monday, 31 July, 2000, in a plane crash and the fund has been dormant in his account with this Bank without any claim of the fund in our custody either from his family or relation before i discovery to this development.
The said amount was U.S $10.6M (Ten million six hundred United States dollars). As it may interest you to know, I got your impressive information through the Burkina-faso chamber of commerce on foreign business relations here in Ouagadougou Burkina-faso.
Meanwhile all the whole arrangement to put claim over this fund as the bonafide next of kin to the deceased, get the required approval and transfer this money to a foreign account has been put in place and directives and needed information will be relayed to you as soon as you indicate your interest and willingness to assist me and also benefit your self to this great business opportunity.
In fact I could have done this deal alone but because of my position in this country as a civil servant(ABanker),we are not allowed to operate a foreign account and would eventually raise an eye brow on my side during the time of transfer of the fund,because I work in this bank.
This is the actual reason why it will require a second party or fellow who will forward claims as the next of kin with affidavit of trust of oath to the Bank and also present a foreign account where he will need the money to be re-transferred into on his request as it may be after due verification and clarification by the correspondent branch of the bank where the whole money will be remitted from to your own designation bank account.
I will not fail to inform you that this transaction is 100% risk free. On smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 30% of the total sum as ratification, while 10% will be set aside to take care of expenses that may arise during the time of transferring the fund and also telephone bills, while 60% will be for me. Please, you have been adviced to keep this transaction "top secret" as I am still in service and intend to retire from service after i conclude this deal with you.
I will be monitoring the whole situation here in this bank until you confirm the money in your account and ask me to come down to your country for subsequent sharing of the fund according to percentages previously indicated and further investment, either in your country or any country you advice us to invest in.All other necessary vital information will be sent to you when I hear from you and please kindly delete if you are not interested.
I look forward to receive your email.
Mr Aliu Ahmed