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:
- "million british pounds" (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)
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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.
- 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)
- **grenfell**. * *tel: +447564008940* *private email:email@example.com * (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: James Philip <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2014 04:16:52 +0200
*1393 London Road,*
*I am Mr. James **Grenfell**, the Chief Auditor of the Nat West Bank of
London (Nat West Bank).I got your contact address from the Trade and
Exhibition Centre here in **Norbury** and you are the only person that I
have contacted in this business with believe that you will not let me down
and we will work together to develop trust and confidence in this business.*
*After going through some old file in the records department, I discover
that there is an account opened in 1980 belonging to the late Mr. Jerome N.
Snaga a foreigner and a miner at Kruger Gold Company a geologist by
profession and since 1990 nobody has operated the account following Mr.
Snagas death in 1990. Since then, no other person knows about this
account, and the amount involved is Â£42 million (FORTY TWO MILLION BRITISH
POUNDS STERLING). *
*I would like to first transfer Â£12 million into your overseas account as a
foreigner because Mr. Snaga was a foreigner then later I will transfer the
remaining Â£30 million before joining you in person for disbursement and
investment opportunity which you will be an asset to it. I am only
contacting you because of your foreign status as this money cannot be
approved to a local bank here, but can be approved to any foreign account
because the money is in a foreign currency (BRITISH POUNDS) and former
owner of the account, Mr. Snaga was a foreigner.*
*Because of the need to involve a foreign account, I need your full
co-operation to make this work fine because the management is ready to
approve the payment to whoever has the correct information to this account,
of which I will give you later, if you are able to handle such amount in
strict confidence and trust according to my instruction and advice for our
mutual benefits because this opportunity will never come again in our
lives. I need a trustworthy person in this business because I don't want
to make a mistake and I need your strong assurance, trust and reliability.*
*With my position now in the office and the influence of the top bank
director of the Barclays Bank, I will make sure that this money is
transferred into any reliable account, which you can provide with the
assurance that this money will be intact pending my physical arrival in
your country for my sharing. Your physical presence is also welcomed in
London in which the transfer will be done in your presence. I will destroy
all the documents of the transaction immediately you receive this money,
leaving no trace in any place.*
*I have the tendency to invest my own share of the money in your country in
expectation to a sound management and a good capital returns according to
your advice. Rest assured you stand no risk of any kind as the fund belong
to us now, therefore after the eventual stage of the transfer of this fund,
I am offering you 30% of the total fund, 65% will be for my investment
while 5% will be set aside for expenses that might be incurred during the
cause of this transaction.*
* I strongly believe that associating with you to embark on this fund
transfer and other business ventures will derive a huge success there
after. I will use my position to effect approvals for onward transfer of
this money to your account with appropriate clearance form from the
ministries and foreign exchange department. I am counting on your sense of
confidentiality, as it is my desire that you keep this to yourself and
endeavor to furnish me with your private telephone (mobile preferably), fax
numbers and your bank details where you would like the first payment to be
transferred into for a quickly arrangements and approval.*
*Looking forward to your urgent respond.*
*MR. James **Grenfell**. *
*Private Email:email@example.com <Email%3Ajamesgrenfelll@yahoo.com>*