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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "greater london" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transferred into your bank account" (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 pounds" (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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.David Ashton" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 01 Jul 2016 22:59:43 +0000
Subject: URGENT RESPONSE. 01-07-2016.
From Dr. David Ashton
I am Dr. David Ashton from Brondesbury,North West London, here in
England. I work for UBS INVESTMENT Bank London branch. I am writing
you from my office that will be of an immense benefit for both of us.
In my department, being a member of the Group Executive Com-mittee and
Chief Risk Officer (Greater London Regional Office), I discovered an
abandoned sum of Â£15 Million Great British Pounds Sterling (Fifteen
Million Great British Pounds) in an account that belongs to one of our
foreign customers Late Mr. Steve Allen who unfortunately lost his life
in a car accident including his wife and only daughter. The choice of
contacting you is aroused from the geographical nature of where you
live, particularly due to the sensitivity of this transaction. The
Bank officials have been waiting for any of the relatives to come-up
for this claim but nobody has done that. I personally have been
unsuccessful in locating the relatives for 4 years now, I seek your
consent to present you as the next of kin /Will Beneficiary to the
deceased of this fund so that the proceeds of this account valued at
Â£15 Million Pounds will be transferred into your bank account as the
next of kin to Late Mr. Steve Allen. This will be disbursed or shared
in these percentages, 60% for me and 40% to you. I have secured all
necessary legal documents that will be used to back up this claim we
are making. All I need to do is to fill in your names to the documents
and legalize it in the court here to prove you as the legitimate
beneficiary of the fund. All I require now is your honest
Co-operation, Confidentiality and Trust to enable us sees this
transaction through. I guarantee you that this will be executed under
a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the
law. I want you to understand that I have worked in this bank for 17
years, and I have been able to secure all legal documents to enable
you inherit this fund Please provide me the following: as we have few
days to run it through this is very URGENT PLEASE.
1. Full Name
2. Your Direct Mobile Number
3. Contact Address
4. Date of Birth
Having gone through a methodical search, I decided to contact you
hoping that you will find this deal interesting. Please on your
confirmation of this message and indicating your interest I will
furnish you with more information. Endeavor to let me know your
decision as soon as possible.
Dr. David Ashton