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:
- "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. )
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Henk Boelens" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2016 12:02:42 -0700
Subject: CAN YOU ASSIST ME TO RECEIVE FUND?
FROM KAS BANK.
Suite 560 Salisbury House
London Wall Broadgate London
EC2M 5NU,United Kingdom
I got your contact email address from the internet directory and decided to contact you for this transaction that is based on trust and your outstanding. I have an interesting business proposal for you that will be of immense benefit to both of us.
My name is Henk Boelens. I work with KAS Bank here in London as the Branch Manager. I discovered an abandoned sum of Nineteen Million Eight Hundred And Fifty Thousand British Pounds in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customers Late Dr. Erin Jacobson, an American citizen who unfortunately lost his life and his entire family in Montana plane crash on March 23, 2009, on their way to a group ski vacation.
Now our bank has been waiting for any of the relatives to come up for the claim but nobody has done that. I personally tried to locate any member of his family but have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for 7 years now, i have also checked the deposit documents and discovered that he did not declare any next of kin on the deposit.
The Management of our bank has instructed me to look for the next of kin or they will convert the funds into the Government Treasury Account as unclaimed funds and the funds will be wasted. Therefore, I cannot claim these funds without presenting a foreigner to stand as next of kin. This is the reason why I contacted you to seek your consent to present you as the next of kin so that the funds will be release to you. We will employed the service of an Attorney who will secure all necessary legal documents that could be used to back up this claim, as the legitimate next of kin to the late depositor Dr. Erin Jacobson then the bank will release the funds to you as the rightful beneficiary.
Furthermore, the sharing partern will be 50% for me and 45% for you because I am not a greedy person and is a deal between me and you, while the remaining 5% will be for any unforseen expenses that might emaniate. All I require is your honest co-operation to enable us see this deal through because this business is 100% risk free and with my position in the bank as the bank branch manager, I will do every thing possible to protect your interest and to make sure everything workout successfully. If you are interested in this deal, kindly send me your complete information, your full names and address, Your Private telephone and Cell phone so that the attorney will start processing the necessary paperwork that would facilitate the release of the funds to you.
Mr. Henk Boelens
Branch Manager London UK.