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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million 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)
- "million 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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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)
Fraud email example:
From: thiokwume <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 13:19:37 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Hello Dear
Hello,Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
I am Mr. Thiombiano Kwume, from Burkina Faso in West African region. I work with the bank of Africa here in the nation. I am writing you from
my office that which will be of an immense benefit to both of us. Inmy department, being the account manager I discovered an abandoned sum
of $18 million USA Dollars (Eighteen million Us Dollars) in an account that belongs to one of the bank late foreign customers, a German
citizen who unfortunately lost his life in a plane crash.
The choice of contacting you is aroused from the geographical natureof where you live, particularly due to the senility of the transaction
and the confidentiality herein. Now our bank has been waiting for any of the relatives to come-up for the claim but nobody has done that.
personally have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for many years now, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin /
beneficiary to the deceased so that the proceeds of this account valued at 18 Million Dollars can be done and paid to you for both of
This will be disbursed or shared between the both of us in these percentages, 55% to me and 35% to you while 10% will be for expenses
both parties might have incurred during the process of transferring. I have secured necessary informationâs and the certificate of deposit
that can be used to back up this claim we are making.
All I require now is your honest Co-operation, Confidentiality and trust to enable us sees this transaction through. I guarantee you that
this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.Having gone through a methodical
search, I decided to contact you, that you will find this proposal interesting. Please on your confirmation of this message and
indicating your interest, I will furnish you with more and you can contact me through this my private E-mail address ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Endeavour to let me know your decision rather than to keep me waiting
or exposing me.
Mr. Thiombiano Kwume.