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:
- 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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "million united states 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)
- "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.)
- "lome togo" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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: From Aexil John <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:22:17 +0100
Subject: URGENT REPLY
FROM MR.AEXIL JOHN.
DIRECTOR IN CHARGE OF AUDITING
AND ACCOUNTING SECTION OF ACCESS BANK
De TOGOLAISE, LOME-TOGO
Private Line +228-9960 9989.
Permit me to use this medium to first introduce myself to you before
getting you acquainted with the transaction for which i am contacting
you. I am Mr.Aexil John. The director in charge of auditing and
accounting section of Access Bank de Togolese, Lome Togo in West
Africa. With due respect and regard. 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 our investigation and auditing in this bank, my department came
across a very huge sum of money belonging to a deceased person who
died on 31st October 2007 in a plane crash; flight number 990 en route
from new York to Cairo which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean killing
the 217 passengers and crew members on board and the fund has been
dormant in his account with this Bank without any claim of the fund in
our custody either from his family or relation before our discovery to
this development. Although personally, I keep this information secret
within myself and partners to enable the whole plans and idea be
Profitable and successful during the time of execution. The said
amount was us$14M (fourteen million United States dollars).
As it may interest you to know, I got your impressive information from
the web directory of my country when searching for a reliable and
trustworthy foreign partner who could help me champion a business
proposal of such magnitude without any problem. Meanwhile all the
whole arrangement to put claim over this fund as the bonfire next of
kin to the deceased, get the required approval and transfer this money
to a foreign account has been put in place and directives and needed
information will be relayed to you as soon as you indicate your
Interest and willingness to assist us and also benefit your self to
this great business 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 this 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 of oath to the Bank and also present a foreign
account where he will need the money to be re-transferred into on his
request as it may be after due verification and clarification by the
correspondent branch of the bank where the whole money will be
remitted from to your own designation bank account. I will not fail to
inform you that this transaction is 100% risk free. On smooth
conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 20% of the
total sum as gratification, while 5% will be set aside to take care of
expenses that may arise during the time of transfer and also telephone
bills, while 75% will be for me and my partners. Please, you have been
advised to keep top secret as we are still in active service and
intend to retire from service after we conclude this deal with you. I
will be monitoring the whole situation here in this bank until you
confirm the money in your account and ask us 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 country you advice us 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 stating your wish in this deal on
Private Line +228-9960 9989.