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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Salim Zaid" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2017 20:23:20 -0700
Subject: Can you handle this on trust?
I am Mr. Salim Zaid, Syria / English citizen and Principal assurance
manager in one of reputable banks in Europe. Mr. Mohammed Raji a
staff of Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Company got in touch with me on an
investment which was placed under our banks management some years ago.I
would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail
confidential and respect the integrity of the information you come by as a
result of this mail. I contact you independently of our investigation and
no one is informed of this communication. I would like to intimate you
with certain facts that I believe would be of interest to you. In 2010,
the subject matter;
Mr. Mohammed Raji came to our bank to engage in business discussions with
our private banking division. He informed us that he had a financial
portfolio of $75, 000, 000, 00 (Seventy-Five Million United States dollars),
which he wished to have us turn over (invest) on his behalf. I was the
officer assigned to his case; I made numerous suggestions in line with my
duties as the de-facto chief operations officer, especially given the
volume of funds he wished to put into our bank.We met on numerous
occasions prior to any investments being placed.
He later asks the business to be close that he wants to move the funds to
another country for investment. The funds was moved to a private finance
company who were specialist bank that accepts deposits from high net worth
individuals and blue chip corporations that handle valuable products or
undertake transactions that need immediate access to cash. Mr. Mohammed
Raji told me he wanted the money there as soon as he got into the country.
This was the last communication we had; this transpired last 2010, we
later got a call from the finance Company informing us about the
inactivity of that particular portfolio.
This was an astounding position as far as I was concerned, given the fact
that I managed the International private banking sector I was the only one
who knew about the deposit, and I could not understand why Mr. Mohammed
Raji had not come forward to claim his deposit.
The disappearance of Mr. Mohammed Raji which was later confirmed that he
was killed in of one of the bomb attack in Iraq. This bank has spent
great amounts of money trying to track this man's family; they have
investigated for months and have found no family. The investigation has
come to an end. My proposal is I want to introduce you to the bank as the
next of kin in a position to instruct the Finance company to release the
deposit to you as the closest surviving relation.
Upon receipt of the deposit, I am prepared to share the money with you.
That is: I will simply nominate you as the next of kin and have them
release the deposit to you.40% of the total fund will be given to you for
your position as the next of kin. 5% for expenses, 10% for the less
privileged and I will keep the 45% for my retirement.
I would have gone ahead to ask the funds be released to me but that would
have drawn a straight line in my involvement in claiming the deposit. I
assure you that I could have the deposit released to you within a few
days. I will simply inform the bank of the final closing of the file
relating to Mr. Mohammed Raji. I will then officially communicate with the
Finance company and instruct them to release the deposit to you which they
will gladly do.
I am aware of the consequences of this proposal. So I ask
that if you find no interest in this project that you should discard this
mail. I ask that you do not be vindictive and destructive. If my offer is
of no appeal to you, delete this message and forget I ever contacted you.
Do not destroy my career because you do not approve of my proposal. You
may not know this but people like me who have made tidy sums out of
comparable situations run the whole private banking sector. I am not a
criminal and what I do, I do not find against good conscience, this may be
hard for you to understand, but the dynamics of my industry dictates that
I make this move.
Such opportunities only come ones way once in a lifetime.
I cannot let this chance pass me by, for once I find myself in total
control of my destiny. These chances won't pass me by. I ask that you do
not destroy my chance, if you will not work with me let me know and let me
move on with my life but do not destroy me. I am a family man and this is
an opportunity to provide them with new opportunities. There is a reward
for this project and it is a task well worth undertaking. I have evaluated
the risks and the only risk I have here is from you refusing to work with
me and alerting my bank. I am the only one who knows of this situation,
good fortune has blessed you with a name that has planted you into the
center of relevance in my life. Let's share the blessing.
If you give me positive signals, I will initiate this process towards a
conclusion. I wish to inform you that should you contact me via official
channels; I will deny knowing you and about this project. I repeat, I do
not want you contacting me through my official phone lines nor do I want
you contacting me through my official email account. Contact me only
through the numbers I will provide for you and also through this email
address. I do not want any direct link between you and me. My official
lines are not secure lines as they are periodically monitored to assess
our level of customer care in line with our Total Quality Management
Please observe this instruction religiously. Please, again, note I am a
family man, I have wife and children. I send you this mail not without a
measure of fear as to what the consequences, but I know within me that
nothing ventured is nothing gained and that success and riches never come
easy or on a platter of gold. I will send you a copy of my identity
after I have your full consent. This is the one truth I have learned from
my private banking clients. Do not betray my confidence. If we can be of
one accord, I await your response.