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:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "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)
- "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: "Wai Chung Lam" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2019 05:00:29 -0700
Subject: Genuine Life Time Opportunity.
Wai Chung Lam.
Hang Seng Bank Ltd.
This is a Life time Opportunity and a genuine opportunity for both of us. I am Wai Chung Lam,Vice/Chief Executive. with the Hang Seng Bank and I got your profile while insearch for the right
person that suits this transaction and can be of asisstance in this transaction of which if you are interested and serious we
will be through within a couple of days.
Before the U.S and Iraq war our client Lieutenant-Colonel Omar Musa Hussein who was with the Iraq forces and also businessman, made a numbered fixed deposit
for 18 calendar months,with a value of Twenty Seven Million Nine Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only in my branch.Upon maturity several
notices was sent to him, even during the war which began in 2003.
Again after the war another notification was sent and still no response came from him.
We later found out that the Colonel along with his wife and only daughter had been killed during the war in a suspected car bomb that rocked the
Italian military police headquarters in the southern Iraq city of Nassiriya.
After further investigation it was also discovered that Lieutenant-Colonel Omar Musa Hussein did not declare any next of kin in his official
papers including the paper work of his bank deposit.
And he also confided in me the last time he was at my office that no one except me knew of his deposit in my bank.
So now, Twenty Seven Million Nine Hundred Thousand United States Dollars is still lying in my bank and no one will ever come forward to claim it. What bothers me most is
that according to the laws of my country at the expiration 12years the funds will revert to the ownership of the Hong Kong Government if nobody applies to
claim the funds. Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I will like you as a foreigner to stand as the next of kin to Lieutenant-Colonel
Omar Musa Hussein so that you will be able to receive his funds.
I want you to know that I have everything planned out so that we shall come out successful. I have an attorney that will prepare the necessary
document that will back you up as the next of kin to Lieutenant-Colonel Omar Musa Hussein, all that is required from you at this stage is for you
to provide me with your Full Names and Address so that the attorney can commence his job.
After you have been made the next of kin, the attorney will also file in for claims on your behalf and secure the necessary approval and of probate in your favour
for the move of the funds to an account that will be provided by you.
There is no risk involved at all in this matter, as we are going to adopt a legalized method and the attorney will prepare all the necessary documents.
Please endeavor to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue.
Once the funds have been transferred to your nominated bank account,we shall then share in the ratio of 60% for me, 40% for you.
Should you be interested please send me your:
3,Private phone number,
4,Current residential address,
For security reasons reply via my private email: email@example.com
and finally I shall provide you with more details of this transaction.
Your earliest response to this letter is appreciated.
This is a Life time Opportunity.
Wai Chung Lam.