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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Clevapeters Bandaas <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 20:20:29 +0800 (CST)
Subject: DEAR TRUSTING FRIEND, PLEASE YOUR ATTENTION TO THIS DEAL PROPOSAL IS URGENTLY NEEDED.
Hello my good friend,
pray that this email reaches you in the best of health in the
prosperous new year of 2013. I present my best wishes to you and your
family with blessings, goodness and mercy. Actually this proposal may
come to you as a surprise due to the fact that we have not yet met. The
message could be strange but it's real if you pay some attention to it. I
have seen that God has something good for us in this 2013; I want to
notify you about it at least for the sake of your integrity and good
In a brief
introduction, My name is Director Dr. Peter Cleva Banda, I am the
Controller of Foreign Transfer Inspectorate Division of West Africa
Monetary Fund. I have a very interesting transaction to discuss with
you. The business under discussion has to do with a late Customer to
Bank of Africa Benin, who is a nationality of your country and was
employed as a Consultant with (SONACOP) oil Company in Cotonou Republic
I managed to get your contact details
through the Internet search because time is of importance to it and I am
desperately looking for a person to assist me pull this money out from
the bank before our corrupt government officials will confiscate the
money and use it for their selfish interest.
Thursday, December 25, 2003, the late customer and his wife including
their only daughter were involved in Air-Crash near the Atlantic Ocean
in Cotonou suburb. (May their soul rest in peace) Since then I have made
several inquiries to the Embassy in a bid to locate any relation of the
deceased, All attempts to reach the next of kin to the deceased has
been futile as he had no family here in Benin Republic.
my decision to contact you, I want to go into partnership with you, the
nature of your business is completely irrelevant to this transaction as
all I need from you is an assurance that my interest will be fully
protected once the fund is transferred to your account. The late
customer made a numbered time (fixed) deposited for twelve calendar and
his account with Bank of Africa accrues to about (Seven Million, Five
hundred and Fifty- Two Thousand US Dollars) (USDM7.552,000.00),
According to the Benin Law, at the expiration of (Nine years) the money
will revert to the ownership of the Benin government if nobody applies
to claim the funds.
I discovered the funds
transaction through our Foreign Transfer Monitoring Network so I decided
to contact you for the claim so you can receive the funds now that the
Economic Community of West African States has approved the immediate
release of all pending Contracts and Inheritance funds transfers.
proposal is, I will like you as a foreigner to apply as the next of kin
to the late customer so that the fruits of this old man's labor will
not get into the hands of some corrupt government officials who will
later use the money to sponsor war in Africa and kill innocent citizens
in the search for political power/seat.
that there will be no problem at all, my position here guarantees the
successful execution of this transaction within 7 Banking days and the
money will be transferred into your account, then I will come over to
your country for us to share in the ratio of 50% for you and 50% for me.
This is very simple, I will like you to reply immediately so that I can
send you the Text of application which you will apply to the bank as
the next of kin to the Late Customer and I will use my good position
here as the Controller of Foreign Transfer Inspectorate division to make
sure that the application is approved for immediate payment into your
As soon as I instruct the bank in
regards to the transfer, they will not hesitate to transfer the funds to
your account without any delay.
partnership will be done with total confidentiality in a climate of
trust and sincerity because I will not like in a situation where the
funds will be transferred to your account, then you turn to sit on my
own shear of the total funds.
If you know you
are willing to partner with me in trust and sincerity, you reply as soon
as possible so we can get it done at once. You may login the BBC world
news site to confirm the tragedy: (
me your personal information, both your private phone so I can be able
to call you as soon as possible. Please don't forget to email back via
my primary email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) for quick attention
Waiting your urgent reply.
Your friend and Partner,
Director Dr. Peter Cleva Banda