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:
- 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:
- "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)
- "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)
- "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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Johnson Duke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 18:03:34 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Good Day Friend, Call me +229 95 88 65 44.
AUDITING AND ACCOUNTING UNIT.
FOREIGN REMITTANCE DEPT.
AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK BENIN (A.D.B)
REPUBLIC OF BENIN. WEST AFRICA.
I am Mr John Duke, the director in charge of auditing and accounting section of African Development bank cotonou benin republic in 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 in a plane crash on the 1st October 2003 on airline transafr International with aircraft Lockheed L-100-30 at location Vila Nova,Angola with registration number S9 CAO while travelling with his entire family of hi wife,3 children and a maid on a festive visit to Angola.and since his untimely death the funds has been dormant in his account with this Bank without claim of the fund in our custody either from his family or relation before our discovery to this development.
Although personally,i keep this information secret within myself and partners to enable the whole plans and idea be Profitable and successful during the time of execution.The said amount was usd$9.5M(Nine million Five Hundred Thousand united states dollars).
As it may interest you to know,i got your impressive information through my good friends who works with chamber of commerce on foreign business relations here in Cotonou-Benin.It is him who recommended your person to me to be viable and capable to champion a business of such magnitude without any problem. Meanwhile all the whole arrangement to put claim over this fund as the bonafide next of kin to thedeceased, get the required approval and transfer this money to aforeign account been put i n place and directives and needed information will be relayed to you as soon as you indicate your interest and willingness to assist us and also benefit yourself 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,we are not allowed to operate a foreign account and would eventually raise an eye brow on my side during the time of transfer 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 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 designated bank account.
May i at this point emphasize that this transaction is 100% risk free as i have made arrangements for a success ful arrangement as an insider of the bank before contacting you.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 transfer and also telephone bills,my travel ticket to come over to your country for the sharing of the fund while 60 will be for me and my partners. Please,you have been adviced to keep this a top secret as we are still in service and intend to retire from service after we 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 us 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 information will be sent to you on your acceptance to champion this transaction with me.i suggest you get back to me as soon as possible or you contact me on my private line(+229 95 88 65 44)stating your wish in this deal.