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:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million us 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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "there is no risk involved" (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: William Cheung <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2017 22:39:24 +0100
Thank you for your response. My name is William Cheung and i
wish to introduce
you to a Business transaction that would be of immense benefit to both of
us. Being a
Director/Executor of WILLS with the Hang Seng Bank, Hong Kong, it is
possible that we can
make fortune out of our late client's unclaimed Funds when we cannot help
it or left with
no better option. The issue I am presenting to you is a case of my late
client who left his
fortune unwilled. It was most unfortunate that he died years ago and as the
of WILLS, am now faced with indecision about who to pass the fortune to.
However, I wouldn't
want the Funds to be returned back to Government treasury as unclaimed
Funds or the greedy
Directors of my Head Branch will share the funds among themselves once they
finds out that
the fund is unclaimed
I therefore seek for your assistance in presenting you as the next of Kin
to my late client
so that you can inherit the funds worth 24.5 million US Dollars for our
sharing and you will
be eligible for 45% of the funds. As the Director/Executor of WILLS, all
the claims documents
shall pass through my desk and i can ensure you that all the claim
documents will be legally
processed by my Attorney and this is 100% risk free. If you are interested,
kindly please get
back to me with your Full Name, Cell Phone and Residential
Address to enable me brief you more on the Business deal.
Once these information are received, My attorney can immediately commence
with the legal claims
of the funds and like i said, this is 100% risk free business deal and all
i need is your sincerity
and honesty. After you have been made the next of kin, my attorney will
also file in for claims on
your behalf and secure the necessary approval and letter of probate in your
favor for the transfer
of the funds to you. There is no risk involved at all in this deal as we
are going to adopt a legal
method and the attorney will prepare all the necessary documents to achieve
our goal. Please endeavor
to keep this transaction confidential; please do not discuss it with
anybody. I really can't wait till
the funds leave my bank because I have not been able to sleep nor eat
properly for the past days.
Attach to this email is my identity Card for your reference.