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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "foreign remittance department" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Sr Gslv Frsc <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Sr Gslv Frsc <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2016 16:08:10 +0900 (JST)
Subject: URGENT MESSAGE FROM SR.GULLIVER FRITSCH
Before I introduce
myself, I wish to inform you that this letter is a very important one and I
urge you to treat it serious. This letter must come to you as a big surprise,
but I believe it is only a day that people meet and become great friends and
business partners. Please I want you to read this letter very carefully and I
must apologize for barging this message into your mail box without any formal
introduction due to the urgency and confidentiality of this business and I know
that this message will come to you as a surprise. Please this is not a joke and
I will not like you to joke with it ok,Â
due respect to your person and much sincerity of purpose, I make this contact
with you as I believe that you can be of great assistance to me. My name is Sr.
Gulliver Fritsch, from Paris France. I am a
telex manager in a bank here in my country, please see this as a confidential
message and do not reveal it to another person and let me know whether you can
be of assistance regarding my proposal below because it is top secret.Â
about to retire from active Banking service to start a new life but I am
sceptical to reveal this particular secret to a stranger. You must assure me
that everything will be handled confidentially because we are not going to suffer
again in life. It has been long time now that one of the directors of Dutch
Construction Company here deposited a huge sum of (â¬25million Euros) here in a
fix suspense deposit with our bank and Iâm the account holder to the late
deceased as he did not Will the funds to anybody before he died.
I send this message to you, I have already diverted the funds to an escrow
account belonging to no one in the bank. The bank is anxious now to know who
the beneficiary to the funds is because they have made a lot of profits with
the funds. It is more than Eight years now the Dutch Construction Company
director died and no one to claim these very funds because there is no next of
kin. The (â¬25million Euros) has been laying waste in our bank and I donât want
to retire from the bank without transferring the funds to a foreign account to
enable me share the proceeds with the receiver. The money will be shared
50/50.I only want you to assist me by providing a reliable bank account where
the funds can be transferred.Â
not to face any difficulties or legal implications as the director of the
foreign remittance department of the bank is a closed friend to me therefore
heâll handle the transfer very well. If you are capable of receiving the funds,
do let me know immediately to enable me give you a detailed information on what
to do. I donât want to miss this golden opportunity but you must keep the
details of the funds secret to avoid any leakages as no one in the bank knows
about the plans.Â
Please get back to me
if you are interested and capable to handle this project, I shall intimate you
on what to do when I hear from your confirmation and acceptance. If you are
capable of being my trusted associate, do declare your consent to me. I am
looking forward to hear from you immediately for further information.