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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Didem Fajarrah <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 01:07:21 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: STRICTLY AND CONFIDENTIAL:
Â Dear Friend,
I know that this mail will come to you as a surprise as we never meet before. I am Mr.Fajarrah Didem, the manager of bill and exchange at the foriegn remittance department African Development Bank (ADB) here in Ouagadougou Burkina Faso,West-Africa. I am writing, following the impressive information about you through one of my friends WORKS WITH THE BURKINA CHAMBERS firm.
I Hoped that you will not expose or betray this trust and confident that I am about to repose on you for the mutual benefit of our both families.
In my department we discovered an abandoned sum of US$15.5Million dollars (Fifteen Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars Only)Â in an account that belongs to one of our foriegn customer who died in November 2004 in a plane crash.
Since we got information about his death, we have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money as it cannot be release unless some body applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidlines and laws, but unfortunately I learnt that all his supposed next of kin or relation died alongside with him at the plane crash leaving nobody behind for the claim.
It is therefore upon this discovery that I now decided to make this business proposal to you so that the money will be release to you as the next of kin or relation to the deceased for safety and subsequent disbursement since nobody is coming for it and I don't want this money to go into the bank treasury as unclaimed bill.
The banking law and guidling here stipulates that if such money remained unclaimed after ten years the money will be transfered into the bank treasury as unclaimed fund.
The request of foreigner as next of kin in this business is occassioned by the factÂ that the customer was a foreigner and a Burkinabe cannot stand as next of kin to a foreigner.
I agree that 30% of this money will be for you as a foreign partner, in respectÂ to theÂ provision of a foriegn account, 10% will be set aside for expenses occured during the business and 60% would be for me .
There after, I and my family will visit your country for disbursement accordingÂ to the percentage indicated. Therefore, to enable the immediate transfer of this fund to you as I have arranged, please you must apply first to the bank as relation or next of kin of the deceased indicating your bank name, your bank account number, your private telephone and fax number for easy and effective communication and location wherein the money will be remitted.
Upon receipt of your reply, I will send to you by fax or email the text of the application. I will not fail to bring to your notice that this transaction is hitch-free and that you should not entertain any atom of fear as all required arrangements have been made for the transfer.
You should contact me immediately as soon as you recieve this letter.
Bill & Exchange Manager.