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:
- 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 united states 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)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "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)
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Brath Alex. <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:12:36 +0000
Subject: Urgent Respond Needed.
Hello friend I need you to stand as a beneficiary to the sum of $4.5millions united state dollars lying down unclaimed in our bank..You can add me to yahoo or msn.For more discussion ( firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com )
Im Brath Alex from south Africa i work in bank as auditor i will explain to you in details step to be taken to claim the fund what really happened is that during the course of our auditing last week, I discovered a floating fund in an account opened in the bank in the year 2001 and since 2002 nobody has operated on this account again after going through some old files in the records I discovered that the owner of the account died without a [Heir/WILL] hence the money is floating and if I do not remit this money out urgently it will be forfeited for nothing.
The owner of this account Mr.Rick Dixon an American and great industrialist ,who was a foreign contractor with the SOUTH AFRICA GOLD MINING'S unfortunately lost his life in an Auto crash including his wife and only daughter leaving nobody to claim the money.Ever since his death the money has been lying unclaimed. Now i need you cooperation to claim this money because only someone from foreign country can stand as the beneficiary.And the Banking law stipulates that any money lying unclaimed for seven years will be transferred to federal government suspend account with RAND MERCHANT BANK OF SOUTH AFRICA.
I need you to achieve this great chance because i do not wish this money transferred to RAND MERCHANT BANK OF SOUTH AFRICA. because it will be shared among the top directors. No other person knows about this account or anything concerning it,the account has no other beneficiary and my investigation proved to me as well that the account is a secret account.The total involved is 4.5 million United States Dollars only and I wish the bank to transfer this money into a safe foreigners account abroad.But I don't know any foreigner, I am only contacting you as a foreigner because this money can not be approved to a local person here,but to a foreigner who has information about the account.
I am revealing this to you with believe in God that you will never let me down in this business I need your strong assurance that you will never let me down and I guarantee that this transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. At the conclusion of this business,
you will be given 50% plus expenses , 50% will be for me. Please i want you to be honest with me because this money is a golden opportunity to you and i do not want to loose it.
I want you to contact bank as beneficiary to the fund i will give you document that you will present to bank to apply for the fund I will destroy all documents of transaction immediately we receive this money leaving no trace to any place.I will use my position and influence to obtain all legal approvals for onward transfer of this money to your account with appropriate clearance from the relevant ministries and foreign exchange departments Before you contact the bank Director to apply for this money I have to create a file for you now as the next of kin to this money.
Because if you contact the bank and they check the Central Computer of the bank.And your name is not there as the next of kin to Late Mr Rick Dixon the bank will doubt you. Please i will want you to give me your details so that i can quickly start with the processing of your file.Also want you to know that this transaction take just a week processing But everything depends on how your act towards this transaction.
For the business to be effected i will need the following information from you
1.Your full name:
2.Your full residential address:
3.Your direct telephone number and email address,
4.Your date of birth and occupation:
With all these information's i will successfully inputs your name in the necessary files and also insert your information into the bank central computer as the next of kin to the late depositor and the sole beneficiary of the unclaimed fund after the demise of the depositor Note that i need to insert your name into the bank central computer and a new file will be opened in your name,
so with these information i will definitely commence with the processing of the fund in your name,so that when you are contacting the bank your name will appear in the bank central computer as the next of kin to the late depositor.
I want you to know that this transaction is 100%risk free because all necessary documents to prove u as the beneficiary will be processed with your name.I want you to handle this business offer with utmost confidentiality and keep it as top secret because my Bank must not know that i gave you this information about this money.
Furthermore after the whole processing of the fund in your name you will need to contact the bank which i shall give you the contact information and the required proofs which you shall offer the bank as the heir and you will apply for the transfer of the fund to your bank account. .
After you might have applied for the release of the said fund and as soon as your letter reach the desk of the director an official and professional response will be given to your letter of application.And official verification will be followed to screen your information contained in your application letter in the bank central computer and i assure you that your information will be met in the bank central computer as the next of kin,beneficiary and claimant of the said fund.
As soon as you are been confirmed as the next of kin , the bank director will give you an official invitation to come down to South Africa because there are valuable and vital governmental certificate and banking documents that required your original signature which you are to sign here in South Africa originally as the beneficiary of the fund before the release of the fund could be effected In this case i will advise you to apply for the documents to be send to you by courier service at your own cost meaning that you will have to pay the courier fee that may be charged by the bank to enable the industry send you the documents due to your inability to come down to South Africa to sign the documents.If this is agreed by you I want you to state it clearly in your reply .
Immediately you apply for the documents to be sent to you by courier service the bank director will ask you to send the courier fee and as soon as you send the courier fee the whole documents will be sent to you by courier service and you will have these documents signed originally in accordance with the bank procedure after you finish to sign the documents the fund will be released to your account in the next 24hours. As soon as you receive the money in your bank account,i shall take my leave to your country for my own share of the money and i shall settle down in country & invest there.
Note that your utmost confidentiality as regards this transaction is required. You are to keep it top secret and confidential matters for us to progress,achieve our aims and finally for security reason.