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:
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "greater london" (a common phrase found 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.
- +447031824662 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: Dr Christopher Johnson <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2013 20:02:11 +0400
Subject: Re : Still waiting to hear from you
Compliments of the season,
How are you today? I hope fine, I know this Email will come to you as a
big surprise,This is the second time am sending you this Letter, the
truth is i got your Email contact from a telephone directory on the
Internet and decided to contact you regarding this Business Proposal.
I am Dr Christopher Johnson Head of Accounting Audit Department of
credit Suisse bank, One Cabot Square, London E14 4QJ London, here in
England. I am writing you from my office which will be of a great
immense benefit for both of us.
In my department being the assistant manager (Greater London region), I
discovered an abandoned sum of ?16.5 Million GBP (Sixteen Million Five
hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling) in an account that belongs to one of
our foreign customers Late Mr. Moises Saba, a Jew from Mexico that was a
victim of a helicopter crash on 10th January 2010 killing him and family
members. Mr Saba was 46-years-old,also in the chopper at the time of
the crash was his wife Adela Tuachi, their son Avraham (Alberto) and his
daughter-in-law Judith,The pilot was also dead.
The choice of contacting you is aroused from the geographical nature Of
where you live, particularly due to the sensitivity of the transaction
and the confidentiality herein, Now our bank has been waiting for any of
the relatives to come-up for the claim but nobody has done that, I
personally has been unsuccessful in locating the relatives, I seek your
consent to present you as the Next of kin /Will Beneficiary to the
deceased so that the proceeds of This account valued at ?16.5 Million
GBP can be paid to you.
This will be disbursed or shared in these percentages, 60% to me and
40% to you, I have secured all necessary legal documents that we can
used to back up this claim. All I need is to fill in Your names to the
documents and legalize it in the court here to prove You as the
legitimate beneficiary. All I need now is your honest Co-operation,
Confidentiality and Trust to enable us see this Transaction through. I
guarantee you that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement
that will protect you from any breach of the law.
If you are interested in this DEAL, kindly provide me the following
Details as we have Seven Working days to run this DEAL through:
1. Your Full Names:
2. Your Telephone and Fax Number:
3. Your Contact Address:
4. Your Age/Gender:
5. Your Job/Occupation:
6. Your Private Email address
7. Your Nationality
Having gone through a methodical search, I decided to contact you
Hoping that you will find this proposal interesting, Please on your
Confirmation of this message and indicating your interest, I will
furnish you with more information. Please contact me by Phone:
+447031824662 or by E-mail
Endeavor to let me know your decision rather than keeping me waiting.