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:
- "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)
- ",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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Bernard Russell" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2012 05:40:24 +0200
Subject: Bernard R
My name is Bernard Russell, I work with the Finance/Monetary auditing Unit in the Netherlands, and we
are in charge for the auditing of foreign account holders in all various banks here in Netherlands.
During our last annual inspections of all various bank accounts in Netherlands, My department found a
dormant account with an enormous sum of US$ 19,500,000.00 (Nineteen Million Five Hundred Thousand
United States Dollars) which was deposited by one late Mr. Jerry R. Williams an Australia citizen. From My
investigation I found out that the late Jerry R. Williams has no beneficiary or next of kin to claim these
Funds (US$ 19,500,000.00)and according to the Netherlands law any account that is dormant for more than
eight years, the authority has every tendency to close the bank account.
I wish to assure you that I will provide all useful informations and
documentation that we enable us transfers these funds into your bank account
legally without any problem.
Get back to me with your name and number if you are interested.