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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "will come to you as a surprise" (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)
- "huge deposit" (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 of america" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Equitey Credite Union Bank Canada (ECUB)" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2017 08:58:25 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: URGENT ATTENTION FROM MR. EMILE ATTIE.
It is obvious that this proposal will come to you as a surprise, This is
because we have not met before but I am inspired to sending you this email by
the huge fund transfer opportunity that will be of mutual benefit to the two of
However, I am,(Mr. Emile Attie)the manager Equity Credit Union Bank Canada
(ECUB)a huge sum of money was discovered standing unclaimed which belong to
late Eng.Steve Ross National of United State of America, who used to work with
Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in London. On the 28th December
2014; Eng Steve Ross,his wife And their three children were involved in a plane
crashes Air Asia A320-216; PK-AXC; flight QZ8501; between Surabaya, Indonesia
and Singapore, and There were no survivors from among the 155 passengers and
seven crew members. they all lost their lives in the event of the accident,
Since then I have made several enquirers to several Embassies to locate any of
Eng.Steve Ross extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful.
After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to trace his relatives
over the Internet to locate any member of his family but of no avail, hence I
contacted you. I contacted you to assist in repatriating the money and property
left behind by my client,I can easily convince the bank that you are the only
surviving relation of
late Eng Steve Ross. Otherwise the Estate he left behind will be confiscated or
declared on serviceable by the bank where this huge deposits were lodged.
Particularly, the Bank where the deceased had an account valued at about $16.5
million U.S dollars (twenty seven million U.S.America dollars). Consequently,
The bank issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have the account
confiscated within the next ten official working days.since I have been
unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over several years now.I seek your
consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased,so that the proceeds
of this account valued at $16.5 million U.S dollars can be paid to your account
and then you and me can share the money. 55%to me and 40% to you,while 5%
should be for expenses or tax as your government may require, I have all
necessary legal documents that can be used to back up any claim we may make.
All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this deal through.I
guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will
protect you from any breach of Governmental laws.
Please get in touch with me to enable us discuss further.email:
Mr. Emile Attie
Manager Equity Credit
Union Bank Canada (ECUB).