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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge sum of money" (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 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Cletus Adams<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2016 15:14:30 -0700
Subject: Next of kin needed urgently
FROM THE DESK OF MR CLETUS ADAMS,
INTERNAL HEAD AUDITOR.
Compliments of the day. Forgive me the indignation you may feel if this message comes to you as a surprise and may offend your personality for contacting you without your prior consent and writing through this channel. Well I got your contact information from a directory data and hoping that you are a reliable and honest person that will assist me claim this money overseas. Cletus Adams is my name. With due respect and regard, I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us at the end.
During our investigation and auditing in this bank, my department came across a very huge sum of money belonging to a deceased person who died on 26th December 2008 in Auto crash. From the information that our bank has gotten so far, the accident killed him with his entire family. Up till now, no other relation has been identified. The person that he used as his next of kin was his 17 year old son who died along side the family.
Although personally, I keep this information secret within myself to enable the whole plans and idea be profitable and successful during the time of execution. The said amount was (US$16,500,000.00 MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY).
I hereby contact you, hence you are a foreigner allows your particulars to be forward to this bank as the family member's or next of kin to our late customer for the purpose of benefiting the of his account. Meanwhile, all the arrangement to put claim over this fund, as the bonafide next of kin to the deceased, as well as getting the required approval and transferring this money to a foreign account, has been put in place. I will really directives and needed information to you, as soon as you indicate your interest and willingness to assist me, and also benefit your self with this great business opportunity.
I will not fail to inform you that this transaction is 100% legitimate as well risk free as long as i am the one leading you into this deal. Keep in mind, on smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to take 35% out of the total sum as gratification, while 5% will be deducted for all the expenses that may arise during the time of transfer and also telephone bills, while 60% will be for me.
Please, I advise you to keep this transaction confidential as well "top secret" as I am still in service and intend to retire from service after I conclude this deal with you.Once you finally consider yourself in assisting me to make this deal happen I will first send direction on how to proceed to proof the legitimate of this very
transaction because with my position I will never involved myself in any criminal act.Needless to say that the trust reposed on you at this juncture is enormous, in return I demand your complete Honesty and Trust.Remember that with my support as their account holder, this transaction is 100% risk free and must be done under a legitimate arrangement that will protect us from the breach of the law.
I hope to hear from you with your full information;
As soon as possible for further details regarding this deal before we can carry on the official proceedings with the bank immediately.
Get back to me immediately if you are interested,( email@example.com ) if not interested delete.