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:
- 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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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: "DEEPAK KHULLAR" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2018 17:12:52 -0000
Subject: URGENT REPLY IS NEEDED FROM YOU!!
Thanks for reading this email. I have been in search for someone with your last name over some weeks now that can assist me on this project and also we not betray me.
One late Peter, a citizen of your country who was an international base business man, had a fixed deposit with my bank in 2005 for 144 calendar months, valued at US$30,000,000.00 the due date for this deposit contract was last 22nd of January 2016. Sadly Mr.Peter was among the death victims in the May 27 2006 Earthquake disaster in Java, Indonesia that killed over 5,500 people when he was in Indonesia on a business trip that was how he met his end.
My bank management is yet to know about his death, I knew about it because he was my good friend and I am his account officer. Peter did not mention any Next of Kin/Heir when the account was opened, and he was not married and no children or siblings. Last week my Bank Management requested that Peter should give instructions on what to do about his funds, if to renew the contract. I know this will happen and that is why I have been looking for a means to handle the situation, because if my Bank Directors happens to know that Peter is dead and do not have any Heir, they will take the funds for their personal use and start a new company, so I don't want such to happen. That was why when I saw your email I was happy and I am now seeking for your co-operation to present you as Next of Kin/ Heir to the account, since you have the same last name with him and my bank head quarters will release the account to you.
There is no risk involved on this Business: the transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of law. It is better that we claim the money, than allowing the Bank Directors to take it for their personal use, they are rich already. I am not a greedy person, so I am suggesting we share the funds equal, 50/50% to both parties, my share will assist me to start my own company which has been my dream. Let me know your mind on this and please do treat this Business transaction as TOP SECRET. We shall go over the details once you are interested in assisting me on this project.
Have a nice day Anticipating your communication.
Mr. Deepak Khullar,
Group Chief Financial Officer,
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank P.J.S.C.
United Arab Emirate Dubai UAE