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 united state 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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: "Mr. Abdulla Abdulrahman Abdulla Qassem" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 22:29:36 +0100
Subject: Business Proposal
I have been in search of someone that I can trust with this business and
when I saw your information, I was pushed to contact you and see how best
we can assist each other. I am Mr. Abdulla Abdulrahman Abdulla Qassem
Officer with Emirates NBD here in U.A.E. I believe it is destiny that
brought us together. I am having an important business discussion I wish to
share with you which I believe will interest you,
One Late Albert had a fixed deposit with my bank in 2005 for 108 calendar
months, valued at US$30,000,000.00 (Thirty Million United State Dollars)
the due date for this deposit contract was last 22nd of January 2013. Sadly
Albert was among the death victims in the May 27 2006 Earthquake disaster
in Java, Indonesia that killed over 5,000 people. He was in Indonesia on a
business trip and that was how he met his end. My bank management is yet to
know about his death, I knew
about it because he was my friend and I am his account officer. Albert did
not mention any Next of Kin/ Heir when the account was opened, and he was
not married and no children. Last week my Bank Management requested that
Albert should give instructions on what to do about his funds, if to renew
I know this will happen and that is why I have been looking for a means to
handle the situation, because if my Bank Directors happens to know that
Albert is dead and do not have any Heir, they will take the funds for their
personal use, so I don't want such to happen. That was why when I saw your
last name I was happy and I am now seeking your
co-operation to present you as Next of Kin/ Heir to the account, since you
have the same last name with him and my bank head quarters will release the
account to you. There is no risk involved; the transaction will be executed
under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of
law. It is better that we claim the money, than
allowing the Bank Directors to take it, they are rich already.
I am not a greedy person, so I am suggesting we share the funds
equal,50/50% to both parties, my share will assist me to start my own
company which has been my dream. Let me know your mind on this and please
do treat this information as TOP SECRET. We shall go over the details once
I receive your urgent response strictly through my personal email address,
Send me an email to my personal email address below so I can reply you with
further details about this business and myself. Anticipating your
Mr. Abdulla Abdulrahman Abdulla Qassemi
Group Chief Operating Officer and
General Manager of ITO & Admin Emirates NBD
Chairman Network International LLC
Private email: firstname.lastname@example.org