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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- +447062026662 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- email@example.com (Publicist; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- *email:+44 706 202 6662* *reply using email:sm firstname.lastname@example.org * *dear (Publicist; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Robert Smith <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2014 12:42:52 +0700
Subject: TREAT AS IMPORTANT,PLEASE
*Robert Smith & Associates*
*(Solicitors & Advocates)*
*Email:+44 706 202 6662*
*Reply using Email:sm <Email%3Asmithlaws@publicist.com>firstname.lastname@example.org
*I am contacting you to use you to pull out this fund from the Bank here
and invest it in your company front lining you to the Bank as a co business
partner of my Late Account Holder.*
*My late client **Late Mr. Iman AL. Hilali** who is from the oil rich
Libyan country was a private oil consultant/ contractor with shell Oil &
Gas Development Company in Tripoli before he died as the result of that
crisis and war that happened in Libya **with all members of his family in
April 20th 2011 **when the then Pro Gaddafi Forces attacked his family
home in Misrata*
*Before his death,he domiciled account with the a bank here in London,
which is having an opening balance of USD$18.8m.(Eighteen Million, Eight
Hundred Thousand US Dollars)being resources made from his oil deals.*
*Since his death, none of his relatives or associates have come forward to
lay claims to his funds as next-of-kin,as his wife whom he made his next of
kin died along with him.*
*Based on the ethics and policies of the bank,the funds in his account
would be declared unclaimed and taken to the treasury of the bank as
capital base of the bank, because already the account has been tagged
dormant because it has exceeded the normal functional number of year.(1
year )without any transaction being done in the account.*
*The bank cannot release the funds from his account unless someone applies*
*for it or lays claim as the next-of-kin to the deceased as indicated in
the banking guidelines.*
* I now seek your permission and assistance to present you and have you
stand as a next of kin to the deceased,so that the funds can be released
and transferred to you, as all documentations will be carefully worked out
by me for it to be released in your favor as the*
*beneficiary's next of kin for our joint investment in your country.*
*Note the following points;*
*The transaction is 100% risk free as bank account Management officer and
they bank knows very well that I am the attorney to the late account holder
when he was alive.*
*The money however, will be divided into 3 parts, you will take 45% of the
$18.8m, myself 50%, while 5% is set aside to offset any expenses we may
individually en cure during the transfer process.*
*That I will invest part of my share in your company while the rest will be
used to help the less privileged home, e.g.motherless homes, handicapped
homes as this are my reasons why I did not allow the Bank Directors who are
already rich, to mess up my clients money while there are poor people in
the society who needs help, I have decided within me,to open a Charitable
Organization in Memory of my late client.*
*Please furnish me with the following information if you are interested .*
*1. Your Complete Names/ Address, in order for me to prepare the document
for transfer in *
*2. Direct Telephone and fax numbers...For our personal contact and for
*communication between both of us.*
*I await your urgent response. *
*Robert Smith Esq*
*Attorney at law*