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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Alfred Julian <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Alfred Julian <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:53:33 +0000 (UTC)
Hello my good friend,
I pray that this email reaches you in the best of health. In this good Year, I present my best wishes to you and your family with blessings, goodness and mercy. This letter may come to you as a surprise due to the fact that we have not yet met. The message could be strange but it's real if you pay some attention to it.Â I want to notify you about it at least for the sake of your integrity. In a brief introduction, My name is Alfred Julian.
I am the Director of Operations with Continental Bank-BÃ©nin.Â I have a very interesting transaction to discuss with you.
The business under discussion has to do with our late Customer, who is a nationality of your country and was employed as a Consultant with (SONACOP) oil Company in Cotonou Republic of Benin.
I managed to get your contact details through the Internet search because time is of importance to it and I am desperately looking for a person to assist me pull this money out from the bank before our corrupt government officials will confiscate the money and use it for their selfish interest.
On Thursday, December 25, 2003, the late customer and his wife including their only daughter were involved in Air-Crash near the Atlantic Ocean in Cotonou suburb. (May their soul rest in peace) Since then I have made several inquiries to the Embassy in a bid to locate any relation of the deceased, All attempts to reach the next of kin to the deceased has been futile as he had no family here in Benin Republic.
Hence my decision to contact you, I want to go into partnership with you, the nature of your business is completely irrelevant to this transaction as all I need from you is an assurance that my interest will be fully protected once the fund is transferred to your account. The late customer made a numbered time (fixed) deposited for twelve calendar and his account with our bank accrues to about Three Million, Five hundred and Fifty- Two Thousand US Dollars) (USDM3.552,000.00), According to the Benin Law, at the expiration of (11 years) the money will revert to the ownership of the Benin government if nobody applies to claim the funds.
I discovered the funds transaction file in my office, so I decided to contact you for the claim so you can receive the funds now that the Economic Community of West African States has approved the immediate release of all pending Contracts and Inheritance funds.
My proposal is, I will like you as a foreigner to apply as the next of kin to the late customer as you have the same Nationality with him so that the fruits of this old man's labor will not get into the hands of some corrupt government officials who will later use the money to sponsor war in Africa and kill innocent citizens in the search for political power/seat.
Note that there will be no problem at all, my position here guarantees the successful execution of this transaction within 7 Banking days and the money will be transferred into your account, then I will come over to your country for us to share in the ratio of 50% for you and 50% for me. This is very simple, I will like you to reply immediately so that I can send you the Text of application which you will apply to the bank as the next of kin to the Late Customer and I will use my good position here as the Director of Operations to make sure that the application is approved for immediate payment into your account.
This partnership will be done with total confidentiality in a climate of trust and sincerity because I will not like in a situation where the funds will be transferred to your account, then you turn to sit on my own shear of the total funds.
If you are willing to partner with me in trust and sincerity, you reply as soon as possible so we can get it done at once.
You can view the BBC web-news for the tragedy: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/ africa/3348109.stm
Send me your personal information, both your private phone so I can be able to call you as soon as possible.
Waiting your urgent reply.
Your friend and Partner,