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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "Fernando Ferrer Ortega" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2017 06:13:15 +0700
Subject: Next of Kinship Request.
My dear Companion,
It is with trust and sincerity that I approach you. Please do accept my
apology if my mail infringes on your personal ethics.
I am Mr. Fernando Ferrer; I work with the Santander Global Banking Group.
(www.bancosantander.es ) as the Supervisor of Santanderâs Wealth
Management & Private Banking Division. Honestly it will be my humble
pleasure if we can work together on this mutual benefit transaction.
I have just stumbled on the domiciliary account of Late Mr. âArlin Leroy
Schneider.â He was a customer of the bank whose account has remained
dormant since 2001 with a total sum of Six Million
United State Dollars in it [$6 Million USD].
On my personal investigation, I discovered that the account holder âMr.
Arlin Leroy Schneiderâ died without any registered next of kin, and as
such the funds now have an open beneficiary mandate.
with my Bank. This means that any person from your country can act as the
next of kin of the deceased person for claiming the inheritance funds
without any risk involved. (Please refer to the obituary publication of
Mr. âArlin Leroy Schneiderâ (Arlin Leroy SCHNEIDER's Obituary on Press
Information reaching my office regarding proceedings for the confiscation
of this funds, which is in line with existing Financial and banking laws
as provided in section 129, sub section 63(n), Spanish Banking Edit of
1961; states that at the expiration of 12 years, the funds will revert to
the ownership of the Government, if nobody applies to claim the funds.
Ten (10 yrs.) has since elapsed and no claim has been made for these funds.
My proposition to you is that we can work together to transfer and invest
this huge sum of money in your country. I have talked to my lawyer friend
about it and as the Supervisor of Santanderâs Wealth Management & Private
Banking Division; through the lawyer, I will present you to my bank as the
beneficiary/next of kin to the deceased.
All legal documents to back up your claim as the deceased Next of Kin will
be provided by me, through my lawyer. All I require is your honest
cooperation to enable move the funds to your country.
I guarantee you that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement
that will protect you from any breach of the law. Upon your honest reply,
I will send more details and about the money and how it can be transferred
to you in your country.
I want you to know that this business is for our mutual benefits. And I am
therefore offering you two options; we can invest the money in your
country and share the rolled over profits or I can give you 40% of the
total amount while 55% comes to me.
We shall set aside 5% for expenses that may occur during the process of
actualizing this transaction. I will also use my upper position to make
sure that all the process goes successfully without any hitch.
I await your reply soon so we can move on with this transaction.
Fernando Ferrer Ortega.