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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "million pounds" (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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "this business is hitch free " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.Grieve Howard Williams" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2019 18:45:45 +0200
Subject: For your attention
HSBC Holdings Plc. London,
The chief auditor (H.S.B.C Bank London)
8 Canada Square E14 5hq, London
I know, this letter will come to you as surprises since we never met before. My name is Dr. Grieve. Howard Williams, the director in charge of Chief Auditing and Accounting Unit of HSBC BANK LONDON I and my colleagues, hoped that you will not expose or betray this trust and confident that am about to introduce to you for the mutual benefit of our both families. I am writing in respect of Mr. Anh, Il Tae of a foreign customer of our Bank who perished along with his next of kin with Korean Air Line, flight number 801with the whole passengers on 6th of Augustus 1997, Open and view the website: http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9708/06/guam.passenger.list/
Since the demise of this our customer, I personally have watched with keen interest to see the next of kin but all has proved abortive as no one has come to claim his funds of Â£10.000.000,00 (Ten Million Pounds), which has been with our branch for a very long time. On this note, I decided to seek for whom his name shall be used as the Next of Kin since nobody is coming for the fund again. The Banking ethics here does not allow such money to stay more than 16 years, because the money will be recalled to the Bank treasury as unclaimed fund after this period. In view of this, I got your contact through the Internet when I was making a research on a foreigner that I will use in this great opportunity because I donât want the money to be recalled to our Bank treasury as unclaimed fund. I have also agreed to offer you 30% of the total sum and the rest 70% will be for me. The reason for a foreigner in the Business is for the fact that the deceased man was a foreigner and it is not authorized by the law guiding our Bank for a citizen of this country to make the claim of the fund. So the Request of you as a foreigner is necessary to apply for the release and transfer of the fund smoothly into your reliable Bank account as the Surviving Relation to the deceased. If you are really sure of your integrity, trustworthy and confidentiality and accept not to cheat or disappoint me after this business.
I will send you by fax or e-mail on the next procedure to follow in other to execute this transaction.I will not fail to bring to your notice that this business is hitch free and donât have any negative impact. You should not entertain any fear as all modalities for the smooth and easy transfer of this fund has been finalized, this transaction will be completed within 14-bank working Days immediately we start the business. Waiting for your urgent response and please kindly delete if you are not interested. Email me with this :( email@example.com)
Dr.Grieve Howard Williams