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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms.Habiba Abdullah" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2020 03:04:31 -0800
Subject: FROM Ms.Habiba Abdullah
FROM Ms.Habiba Abdullah
I sincerely apologize if my message does not suit your current
status,My name is Ms.Habiba Abdullah, I contacted you because I have
interest for investing in your country into Real Estate business (ie:
Hotel, Lands and Tourism) as well as seek your services in a private
and confidential matter.
I am a Chartered Accountant and Executive Director and Chief Financial
Officer Union Bank Plc . in the discharge of my duty i discovered
dormant domiciliary account with a Balance of $15,500,000.00 USD
(Fifteen Million Five Hundred Thousand United Dollars Only). The
depository was made 1994 by a foreign investor for an investment
programmed that has remained dormant for years now.I discovered that
the account holder died without making a WILL /Next of kin on the
I write to seek your indulgence and assistance in transferring this
fund to your country through legal means as repatriation of fund for
onward Investment. According to our banking policy ,it is only a
foreigner from another country that can claim this money to his
account ,Because the money belongs to a foreigner it can only be
claimed by a foreigner as according to our banking policy.
I am proposing to make you the next of kin of this fund ,so that
transfer could be done to any designated bank account of your choice
in your country for investment, instead of leavein the money in the
bank as unclaimed fund .I got your contact E-mail address through the
chamber of commerce in my search to find a trustworthy person on whom
I can repose confidence for colossal international money transaction
.This is why i contacted you through email for assistance .
At the conclusion of this transaction, I promise to give you 35% of
the total amount, 65% will be for me as the business pioneer. I will
like you to provide to me ,your full Names and country you reside and
telephone number ,so i can discuss this matter further with you My
Attorney will draft and carry out the notarization of the WILL and
also obtain the necessary documents and letter of
probate/administration in your favor for the claim.
Please Let me know if you can handle it. If this proposal is
acceptable by you, I expect that you will not take undue advantage of
the trust I will bestow upon you. I await your