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:
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MAHO" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 31 May 2016 09:11:01 -0000
I am Issa MAHO, I want to seek your assistance after my discovery during auditing in my bank as I'm the manager of Bill and Exchange at the Foreign Remittance Department in Banque Centrale des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (BCEAO).
In my department we discovered a sum of $31.300.000 million in an account that belonged to one of our foreign customer. Upon maturity, we sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no response.
After some months, we sent a reminder and finally discovered that our customer died from an automobile accident. On further investigation, I found out that he did not leave a will and all attempts to trace his next of kin were fruitless.
I therefore made further investigation and discovered that the deceased person did not declare any next of kin in all his official documents, including his bank deposit paperwork.
It is therefore upon this discovery that I decided as the head of my department to make this business proposal to you and release the money to you as the next of kin or relation to the deceased for safety and subsequent disbursement, and you will be given 35% of the total amount, 60% will be for me, while 5% will be for expenses both parties might have incurred during the process of transferring. after the transfer is made to your country / account since nobody is coming for it and we don't want this money to go into the Bank treasury as unclaimed bills.
We will conclude this operation within 21 banking days based on the amount of co-operation you will contribute.
We will start the first transfer with Eleven million [$11,000.000] upon successful transaction without any disappoint from your side, we shall re-apply for the payment of the remaining amount to your account.
I need your full co-operation to make this work fine.Because the management is ready to approve this payment to any foreigner who has correct information of this account, which I will give to you, upon your positive response and once I am convinced that you are capable and will meet up with instruction of a key bank official who is deeply involved with me in this business.
I need your strong assurance that you will never,never let me down. With my influence and the position of the bank official we can transfer this money to any foreigner's reliable account which you can provide with assurance that this money will be intact pending our physical arrival in your country for sharing. The bank official will destroy all documents of transaction immediately we receive this money leaving no trace to any place and to build confidence, you can come immediately to discuss with me face to face after which I will make this remittance in your presence and three of us will fly to your country at least two days ahead of the money going into the account.
I will apply for annual leave to get visa immediately I hear from you that you are ready to act and receive this fund in your account. 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. At the conclusion of this business, you will be given 35% of the total amount, 60% will be for me, while 5% will be for expenses both parties might have incurred during the process of transferring.
Thank you for your understanding as i await your urgent response to me give you more details don't forget to give me those information below before we can go ahead in this business/project.
Your private telephone number
Your private E-mail address