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:
- "you will be entitled to 30%" (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "is 100% risk-free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Dennis Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2017 07:38:08 +0100
Subject: JUST TO INFORM YOU ABOUT THIS PROJECT
MR. DENNIS WILLIAMS
ABIDJAN, COTE D'IVOIRE
I am Mr. Dennis Williams, a Senior Management Staff in Foreign
/Operations Department with one of the local banks here in Abidjan,
Cote D'Ivoire (IVORY COAST).
In the year 2010, MR. ROBERT EDWARD, a well known Oil Contractors/
Consultants with Cote d'Ivoire Government operated a Domiciliary
Account with my bank and made a numbered time (fixed) deposits
amounting to US$48,750,000M (Forty-Eight Million, Seven Hundred &
Fifty Thousand United States Dollars).
However, on investigation, it was discovered that Mr. George Edward
died in accident along with his family members.
On further investigation, I discovered that Mr. Robert Edward had no
registered Next of Kin at the time of deposit and all attempts to
trace any of his Relatives to come for the claim of this fund has
proved abortive till date. This sum of US$48,750,000M is still lying
in the Bank untouched and the INTEREST is being rolled over with the
principal sum at the end of each year. For the past 7 years now, no
one has ever come forward to claim the fund.
According to Cote D'Ivoire (IVORY COAST) Laws, at the expiration of 10
(Ten) years, the funds shall be declared unserviceable and shall subsequently be
transferred direct to Federal Reserve Account through Central Bank of
Cote d'Ivoire if
nobody applies to claim the funds.
However, I am soliciting for your assistance to stand in as an
appointed beneficiary to claim this fund for YOU and ME to share so
that the bank will transfer the money into your account as Next of Kin
to Late Mr. Robert Edward since Mr. Robert Edward had no registered
Next of Kin with our bank and as such the fund now has an open
Beneficiary mandate, so that the fruits of this old man's labour will
not get into the hands of these corrupt government officials who might
divert the fund direct into their personal pockets at the expiration
of the Ten (10) years.
1. Please note that there is NO RISK attached to this transaction.
2. You will be entitled to 30% from the total amount as your
compensation after the transfer of fund into your account.
As soon as I receive your acceptance to participate in this
transaction, I will furnish you with the necessary modalities to commence.
Finally, I am relying my confidence in you, believing that you will
not disappoint me.
Note - this is 100% RISK-FREE through out.
Awaiting your urgent reply.
God bless you.
Very Best Regards,