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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- "million pounds" (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)
- ",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)
- "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)
- "is 100% risk free" (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))
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- 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.
- +448721117677 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "KENNEDY J" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2012 16:51:15 -0500
Subject: MY REQUEST FOR PARTNERSHIP
THE DESK OF MR. KENNEDY WILSON
THE PRESENT CHIEF AUDITOR
ALPHA BANK LTD LONDON--ENGLAND
66 CANNON STREET,
LONDON EC4N 6EP UNITED KINGDOM
Greetings to you my dear friend as i bring to you a business with a mutual interest.Kindly bear with me,I will really like to have
a good cooperation with you which I have a special reason why I decided
to write you because of the urgency of this transaction. It gives me
more joy because I do believe that we both have to be open-mind and
sincere as to know each other very well.
I am Mr.Wilson Khene, The Presently Chief Auditor, Alpha Bank plc, Main Branch here in London. I write to seek your open-mind and trustful.On our last routine general inspection, I discovered a Dormant Account with a
Balance of (20,000,000.00 GBP) Twenty Million Pounds Sterling's, On the
further investigation, I also discovered that the account Owner is Late
Mr.John Shumejda, an American Citizen, the Chief Executive
Officer(CEO). Agco, The Global Agricultural Equipment Manufacturer. He
died in Plane crash at Birmingham Airport on 4th Jan,2002. visit:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/1742404.stm
He died leaving no beneficiary to the account.In the matter of no
beneficiary,the Alpha Bank Plc will approve this money to any foreigner
who have information about this Account which I will provide to you to
stand as the NEXT OF KIN to Late Mr.John Shumejda. Because the former
operator of this account is a foreigner from Florida,USA and I am
certainly sure that he is dead and nobody will come to claim this money
Therefore I need your full cooperation in this transaction deal.
I will provide all the necessary information needed
to back you up in this transaction, I want to assure you as a
banker,This transfer is 100% risk free.
Thus,for your indulgence and good cooperation.I propose an offer of 40% of the total amount to
be yours after the transfer has been successfully concluded.Kindly
reply to my private E-mail via: (firstname.lastname@example.org),stating
your interest and I shall furnish you with more details and necessary
procedure with which to make the transfer done. And after,I and my
family will visit your country for the sharing and investment
Thanks and God bless.
Mr. Kennedy J Wilson
Fax:+44 872-111 7677
Chief Auditor,Alpha Bank UK Ltd