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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "industrial and commercial bank of china" (not involved with lotteries)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (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)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Bob Chen" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2017 15:18:51 -0700
Subject: DEAR FRIEND
Mr. Bob Chen Vice President & Branch Manager Industrial and Commercial=
Bank of China (USA) NA Hacienda Heights Branch 17180 Colima Road, Hacie=
nda Heights, CA 91745, USA Dear Friend, Seeing this email mes=
sage would be a surprise to you but kindly read it carefully and you will u=
nderstand the reason why I am contacting you for this purpose. However, thi=
s correspondence is un-official and private, and it should be treated as su=
ch. I also guarantee you that this transaction is hitch free from all what =
you may think of. I am Mr. Bob Chen, Vice President & Branch Manager, I=
ndustrial and Commercial Bank of China (USA) NA, Hacienda Heights Branch, C=
alifornia and I am contacting you based on Trust and confidentiality that w=
ill be attached to this transaction. The Management and the Legal depar=
tment of our bank (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (USA) NA) in a r=
ecent meeting recommended that the account of late Mr. Ron Bramlage, who wa=
s one of my branch depositor, should be declared Dormant, confiscated and t=
he depositor's fund sent to the Bank Treasury according to U.S.A Banking an=
d financial law. Late Ron Bramlage died on 7th June 2012 in a plane crash w=
ith his family of six (6), his wife and four (4) children, all died in an i=
ll fated crash on that fateful day. The bank having made several efforts t=
o contact any of his relatives to claim this money but without success deci=
ded to confiscate the fund and declare it public fund. You can read mor=
e from these websites: 1. http://thecomingcrisis.blogspot.com/2012/06/r=
on-bramlages-plane-crashes-into.html 2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2=
Late Mr. Ron Bramlage was an account holder in my branch; he owns a doll=
ar account with a huge sum of money deposited in a Secret account with my b=
ranch. In fact, since his death, no next of kin of the account holder nor a=
ny relative of him has shown up for the claim of this fund, this is because=
he has the account as a secret account thus he left all the documents for =
the deposit with me as his account officer and financial advisor. This =
is where I am interested and where I want you to come in, I want you to com=
e in as a relative of the deceased; do not bother that you are not in any w=
ay related to him because I am in position to affix your name as the next o=
f kin to the deceased and no one will question it since I am the officer in=
charge of the account. I will give you the relevant documents and contacts=
to file the application and then I will effect the approvals for the trans=
fer of the fund to your nominated bank account. I will be the one to provid=
e the vital documents for the claims of the money and then advise you exact=
ly how we should handle it. Please include your telephone number when r=
eplying this mail so I can call to give you more information as soon as you=
indicate your willingness to assist in this transaction. The whole Procedu=
res will last only 9 working days to get the fund retrieved successfully wi=
thout trace even in future. After the transfer of the money to your nominat=
ed bank account, we shall share the money 70-30.that is I will have 70% whi=
le you will have 30%. Kindly respond promptly so that I can advice you =
on what next to do. I will be waiting to hear from you. Yours truly=
, Bob Chen Vice President & Branch Manager, Industrial and Commerc=
ial Bank of China (USA) NA =20