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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Martinez" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2017 07:27:50 -0000
Subject: PLEASE I NEED YOUR IMMEDIATE RESPONSE
My name is Mr Martinez Christian, I am the Internal Head of Corporate
Operations of my bank. We are situated in Abidjan, the capital city of
the Republic of Cote dIvoire, West African sub-region to be precise.
I have an urgent and confidential business preposition for you, although
I know that contacting you through internet is not a formal approach
because of the nature and magnitude of this transaction but I hope that
you will read through this email carefully and understand the need for
an urgent attention. But if this message comes to you out of your wish,
please I am very sorry about it, I only need someone who will be willing
to partner with me in a proposed financial transaction for the benefit of
both of us.
On September 2007, a Foreigner resident here in Abidjan Cote dIvoire who
was an oil contractor with the National Refinery of my
country (Societe Ivoirienne de Raffinage-SIR) made a numbered time
(fixed) deposited for Five Years valued at $5.5 Million (Five Million,
Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) in my branch. My client and his
entire family died in a fatal motor accident in Bouake City of Cote
dIvoire when they were being pursued by the rebel force during the civil
war in my country last 7 Years.
Since the maturity of the fixed deposit, I have personally sent a routine
notification to his forwarding address but got no reply. Last month, I
sent a reminder and finally i discovered from his contract employers -
Societe Ivoirienne de Raffinage-SIR that he died with his entire family
last year during the civil war.
On further investigation, I found out that he did not leave any WILL, and
all attempts to trace his Next Of Kin were fruitless. I therefore made
further investigation and discovered that my late client did not declare
any Next Of Kin in all his official documents, including his Bank
paperwork. This Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars
is still sitting in my Bank and the interest is being rolled over with
the principal sum at the end of each year. No one will come forward to
According to my country financial Law, at the expiration of 10 years the
money will revert to the treasury of Government if nobody applies to claim
it as unclaimed funds. Consequently, my proposal is that I will like to
present you to my bank being a foreigner to stand as the Next Of Kin to
my late client to claim the money so that this huge sum will not get into
the hands of the corrupt government officials in my country rather it
will be released and transferred to your account as an inherited fund so
that we shall use it for investment into some lucrative business in your
As a banker, I have made all verification and perfected arrangement for
a clean and successful execution of the transaction within 7 days of
commencement and there is absolutely no risk involved.I will require you
to treat this letter with the utmost urgency and confidentiality.
Please, if you are interested in this transaction, make available to me
your direct contact telephone / fax numbers, your full address and name
, so that I can get started with the documentations. What we have to do is
simple if you follow to my instructions. I will use this your
information to add into my late client file in our bank as his registered
associate before his death who is entitle to inherit the funds in case
of his death.
When this money is transferred into your preferred bank account, you will
take 50% share of the total sum, and i will take 50% too and any expenses
that may occure to secured this fund will shared between you and me. You
will also help me in the investment of my own share of the money into
real estate business in your country.
I will give you more details upon the receipt of your positive response
Thanks for your understanding and co-operation
Mr Martinez Christian
Head of Corporate Operations
United Bank for Africa UBA
Abidjan, Republic of Cote dIvoire