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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Sanchez Bruce" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2017 05:06:02 +0900
Subject: Utterly CONFIDENTIAL,
I am Sanchez Bruce The Director Account Services Operations Unit in my Bank, Am contacting you for an urgent beneficial transaction, I have the opportunity of transferring Nine Million Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars( $9.3m) from an account that belong to one of our late customer from the United States of America who died long ago in heart related disease.
I want to inquire from you if you can handle this transaction for mutual benefits life opportunity for you and me. The Fund is currently in a suspense account awaiting claim, the bank made a public notice that they are ready to release this fund to any of his relatives abroad.
THEREFORE, by virtue of its nature as being utterly CONFIDENTIAL, top secret should be maintained please, because I am still in the active service I do not need any form of implication especially now I am in the verge of my retirement to endanger my career at last!.
Since we got the information about his death, we have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot release it unless some body applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines and laws. In that regard, I decided to seek your consent for this prospective opportunity. Have it at the back of your mind, that the transaction does not involve any RISK, and does not need much engagement from you, since I am familiar with this kind of transaction being an insider.
Necessary modalities will be worked out to enable us carry out the fund claim under a legitimate arrangement. I have resolved to offer you 40% of the total fund if only you will understand and follow up my instruction because it will only required a foreign Account to transfer the fund, 10% for sundry expenses that may be incurred during the process of executing this transaction and 50% percent for me.
I will give you more details about the transaction when I receive your affirmative response; I am waiting to hear from you URGENTLY
Thanks yours sincerely,
Mr. Sanchez Bruce