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:
- "million us 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 next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: ALISTER BANK<email@example.com>
Date: 17 Dec 2019 12:49:28 +0100
Subject: CONFIDENTIAL PROPOSAL
I am Mrs. April Steves , General Manager Internal Audit at
Alister Bank. This is about a business proposal that will be of
an immense benefit for both of us.
In my department, I discovered an abandoned sum of $40.5 Million
US Dollars in an account that belongs to one of our late foreign
customer, who was one of the victim of Malaysia Airlines Flight
370 (MH370/MAS370) which crashed in the south of the Indian Ocean
on March 8, 2014 from Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Since their death, our bank has been waiting for the next of kin
to come for the claim of their money and goods valued the sum of
$40.5 Million US Dollars. But nobody has done so, I personally
have failed in the search for his relatives, I seek your consent
to present you to the bank as the next of kin of the deceased so
that the proceeds of this account valued at $40.5 Million US
Dollars. Can be paid to you.
I find out this during the course of our internal audit, the deal
will be divided in this ratio: 50% for me and 50% for you. I have
in my possession all the necessary and important documents that
can be used in this business. I need your honest Co-operation,
Confidentiality and Trust to enable us sees this transaction
through. I guarantee you 100% success in this business; you can
be rest assured that this transaction is executed under a
legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of
the law both here and in your country.
All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us achieve
this opportunity. If this business proposition offends you, do
accept my sincere apology. If on the contrary you wish to achieve
this goal with me. Please let me know your decision rather than
keep me waiting. Note: Do not forget that this business requires
absolute secrecy and has to be done as quickly as possible.