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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "mobilization fee" (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. )
- "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. )
- "huge deposit" (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)
- 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: JOHN HAMMOND <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Jul 2013 10:00:34 +0200
Subject: FROM JOHN HAMMOND (ESQ)
I am John Hammond.(Esq., solicitor and personal lawyer to late Mrs. Sharon,
a client of mine, who has a servicing firm affiliated with the National Port
Authority here in Accra, Ghana.
She was awarded a contract worth (US$28,850,000.00). Immediately this
contract was signed, an initial amount of (US$11.850,000.00) was paid to her
as mobilization fee to kick off the contract. She duly completed this
contract pending when her remaining balance of (US$17,850,000.00) will be
paid to her.
On the 7th June 2008, my client, her husband and their two kids were
involved in a ghastly boat capsize at Labadi Beach. Unfortunately, all the
occupants in the boat lost their lives. Not too long after her untimely
death, her outstanding balance of S$17,850,000.00 was approved and deposited
in a Bank here.
Right now the funds are still floating unclaimed in the suspense account of
the offshore correspondence payment centre here. I have reasoned very
professionally and I feel it will be legally proper to present you as the
next of kin of my deceased client, so that we can be paid the remaining
balance of her contract funds left in the Bank, hence I contacted you.
I am offering you this opportunity by contacting you to assist in
repatriating the fund and property left behind by my client before they get
confiscated or unserviceable by the Bank where this huge deposit were
lodged. The National Port Authority issued me a notice as the Attorney to
the deceased to provide the Next of Kin or have the Account confiscated in a
shot period of time
since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 3 years
plus that I have been searching.
I seek your concept to present you as the Next of Kin or family member to
the deceased since you are at an advantage, since you are a foreigner, so
that the proceeds of this remaining balance of her contract funds valued at
US$17,850,000.00) can be paid to you. We shall both share the funds, we will
agree on the sharing ratio as we proceed, As certain amount will be for any
in cured expenses and for donation to charitable organizations.
I have all the necessary Legal Documents that will be used to back up any
claim we may make, all I require is your honest co-operation to enable us
see this project through, I guarantee that this will be executed under a
legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of law after
the transfer is done, and then you and l can share the fund.
Best personal regards,
Mr. John Hammond(Esq)