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 us 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "MR.AZIZ AHMED," <email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2014 14:51:39 +0100
Subject: FROM MR.AZIZ AHMED,
FROM MR.AZIZ AHMED,
AUDITING & ACCOUNTING UNIT MANAGER,
FOREIGN REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT,
SOUTH AFRICA (BIDVEST BANK)
Dear, Good Friend,
How are you doing today together with your family? May the peace of Almighty Allah keep you always in good health?
I am sorry to encroach into your privacy in this manner, I found your Email contact listed in the Trade Center Chambers of Commerce directory here in South Africa. Firstly I will like to introduce myself, I'm MR.AZIZ AHMED, the Manager in charge of auditing and accounting unit foreign remittance department, (BIDVEST BANK OF SOUTH AFRICA).with due respect and regards, 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 my investigation and auditing banking in my department i came across a very huge sum amount of money belonging to a deceased person,( Chung Timothy, (Mr.) a foreigner who died in a plane crash and the fund has been dormant in his account with the bank without any claim of the fund in our custody either from his family or relation before my discovery to this development.
Although personally, I kept this information secret within myself to enable the whole plans and idea to be profitable and successful during the time of execution, The amount involved is USD$8.5,000,000.(EIGHT MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS) Meanwhile the whole arrangement and directives needed to put claim over this fund as the beneficiary and next of kin to the deceased, will be forward to you as upon your acceptance, All information will be relayed to you as soon as you indicate your interest and willingness to assist me and also benefit yourself to this great deal 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 the same bank. This is the actual reason why it will require a second party or fellow who will forward claims as the next of kin with affidavit of trust to me, the bank and also present a foreign account where he will need the money to be re-transferred into on his request, after due verification and clarification to designated bank account.
I will not fail to inform you that this transaction is genuine can even swear in the name of Allah with our holly Quran and prove that this is 100% risk free. On smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 35% of the total sum as gratification, while 5% for any incurable expenses that will come during the transfer, then 5% for charity organization (motherless baby home) in your country.
You are been advised to keep top secret as we are still in service and intend to retire from service after I conclude this deal with you. I will be monitoring the whole situation here in the bank until you confirm the money in your account and ask me 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 other country you may advice me to invest in.
All other necessary information will be sent to you when I hear from you. I suggest you get back to me as soon as possible starting your wish in this deal. Kindly notify me urgently via my private email addresses: (firstname.lastname@example.org) Phone: +27 737251921
Thanks and Best Regard.
Auditing and accounting unit manager,
Foreign remittance department (BIDVEST BANK).