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:
- "million 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "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: "Albert Christine" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2017 10:05:54 -0700
Subject: Be kind enough to reply me
I am Miss Christine Albert by name female and a banker in audit department with one of the leading banks here in Ghana.
I want to inform you of my late customer, Mr. Bilger, citizen of your country who deposited the sum of 9,000,000.00 (Nine Million United States Dollars) in our bank here Ghana and in 2006. Sadly late Mr. Bilger died with his family in a crash. He died without any registered next of kin.
I was his account officer, last week the bank gave me the final mandate to present any relative of my late customer Mr. Bilger, for the claim of the fund or they will have the fund confiscated into the state treasury if not claimed.
Now after a long search to find any member of his family to claim the fund but I couldn't, before I found you bearing the same last name with him. Please I would like you to help me out, so that I can present you as the relative and legal next of kin to my late customer, so that my bank headquarters will release the funds to you. I have in my possession all the documents required to present you as his beneficiary next of kin.
To enable me start the process and remittance of the funds into your bank account successfully within 6 banking days, I need the following information from you by e-mail:
1Your full name: .
2.Your Address: .
3.Your Country: .
4.Your Private Mobile phone number :
5. Your Occupation:
Note that as soon as I receive this information from you , i will give you more details about this transaction for you to understand how it will work out as the funds transaction is 100% legal and risk free and I have some documents about the funds for you to be sure of what you are about doing ,with the modalities I have worked out to makes it possible for you to act as the next of kin to my late customer been the man who planned to get marry with me before he died , the account were these funds has been for years is presently dormant , as he died 9 years ago in a crash and note that the funds was deposited in the bank here with open beneficiary or without any next of kin .
This transaction is 100% risk free having done all the underground works locally for the smooth transfer of the fund into your bank account within a shortest period. I advised that you should keep this transaction a top secret and rest all correspondence to e-mail and phone only, because I am occupying a sensitive position here in my bank and also this is our lifetime opportunity.
After the successful fund transfer to you, you will be given 50% while 50% will be for me. I want you to reply urgently to my email address so that I can give you further details how the fund transfer will be executed.
Awaiting your urgent response and always call me on this my private number.
My direct number, +233555897483
Please do reply me as soon as you can
Miss. Christine Albert
Sorry if you received this letter in your spam, Due to recent connection error here in the country.