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:
- "hundred thousand u.s 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)
- "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)
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- "foreign payment department" (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: Brian Hartzer <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 21:07:31 +0000
Subject: Hello, PLEASE Accept My Request. I'm Waiting.
I am Mr.Brian C.Hartzer. The head of computing department of Royal Bank of Scotland Branch here in United Kingdom.
is an account opened in this bank in 2003. Since my inception into
office on 4th Jan 2013,I found this account and investigated deeply
trying to contact the next of kin and couldn't locate him or her.
noticed that the depositor of this fund was an American who lived in
London for years without presenting anyone as next of kin to the
funds. I took the courage to look for a reliable and honest person who
will be capable of handling and claiming the funds $20,200,000.00
(Twenty Million Two Hundred Thousand U.S Dollars) as the next kin. I
discovered that if the fund is not Remitted out urgently, it would be
forfeited for nothing and the Royal Bank of Scotland will
divert the funds to their own account. Please respond immediately so I
will use my position to effect the legal approval and
onward transfer of the funds into your account with appropriate
clearance from foreign payment department.
You will stand to get
50% while 50% will be for me. Kindly quote the reference (acct) numbers
above when responding to this mail. I will furnish you with more
details upon your reply.