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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2017 12:45:40 +0200
Subject: NOTE: THIS TRANSACTION IS STRICLY AND CONFIDENTIAL.
I have a proposal for you, this however is not mandatory nor will I in any
manner compel you to honor the content against your will. I am Dr Dim
Michael; I work with a bank (one of the leading banks in Africa). Here in
this bank exists a dormant account for the past 17years which belongs to an
American national who is now late, by name Engineer Christian Eich the
account owner an engineer who owns a Carmaker BMW's Museum, his wife and
two children and his wife's parents were also among the victims in a plane
crash of Alaska airlines flight number AF4590 which crashed on 31st July,
When I discovered that there had been no deposits or withdrawals from this
account for this long period, I decided to carry out a system investigation
and discovered that none of the family members or relations of the late
person is aware of this account. Now I want an account overseas where the
bank will transfer this fund.
Thereafter, I will destroy all related documents to this account. It is a
careful network and for the past eleven months I have worked out everything
to ensure a hitch-free operation. The amount plus all the accumulated
interest is $6.2M (Six million two hundred thousand United States dollars).
Now my questions are: -
1. Can you handle this project?
2. Can I give you this trust?
3. Can you keep this transaction secret?
As I intend giving you 40% of the total amount Consider these and get back
to me as soon as possible with your full names, private telephone, Mobile
and fax numbers, corresponding postal address, etc. Finally, it is my
humble request that the information as contained herein be accorded with
every confidentiality and the necessary secrecy it deserves I expect your
Please reply with the assurance, come up with the information's showed
1) YOUR FULL NAME.............
2) YOUR AGE.....................
3) MARITAL STATUS....................
4) YOUR CELL PHONE NUMBER..............
5) YOUR FAX NUMBER.....................
6) YOUR COUNTRY.........................
7) YOUR OCCUPATION......................
9) YOUR RELIGION........................
10) YOUR PRIVATE E-MAIL ADDRESS.........
NOTE: THIS TRANSACTION IS STRICLY AND CONFIDENTIAL.
Dr. Dim Michael