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:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- ",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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: OLAK OLAK <"OLAKOLAK."@honey.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: OLAK OLAK <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2017 23:22:44 +0900 (JST)
Do take a moment to consider the contents of this letter. My contact to you is strictly personal and confidential. I dare not contact you via my official email to maintain the absolute confidentiality required in these deal.
My name is Olak, I work in on of the prime bank here in the West Africa. I am contacting you of a business transfer, of a huge sum of money from a deceased account. Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and worried, but I am assuring you that everything has been well taken care off, and all will be well at the end of the day. I decided to contact you due to the urgency of this transaction.To ease your apprehension,
Since his death, none of his next-of-kin are alive to make claims for this money as his heir, because they all died in the same accident(May his soul rest in peace). We cannot release the fund from his account unless someone applies for claim as the next-of-kin to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines. Upon this discovery, I now seek your permission to have you stand as a next of kin to the deceased, as all documentations will be carefully worked out by a lawyer for the funds (US$5,500,000.00) in a domiciliary account to be released in your favor as the beneficiary's next of kin. Because after some years and nobody come as Next Of Kin the money will be called back to the bank treasury as unclaimed bills and the money shared amongst the directors of the bank. so it is on this note i decided to seek for whom his name shall be used as the next of kin/beneficiary to this funds rather than allow the bank directors to shar! e thi! s money amongst themselves at the end of the year. It may interest you to know that we have secured from the probate an order of mandamus to locate any of the deceased beneficiaries.
Please acknowledge receipt of this message in acceptance of our mutual business endeavor by furnishing me with the following information if you are interested.
(1) Your Valid Direct Tel/ Mobile/Fax Number.
(2) Your Full Name:
(3) Current Resident Address.
(4) Your Private E-mail Address.
(5) Your Occupation:
(6) Your Age and Sex:
(7) Your Nationality:
I will like to invest on these areas below: Awaiting your urgent reply. .
1) Transport Industry
2) Mechanized agriculture.
3} Estate investment
4) Orphanage home
i will appreciate if you treat this matter as top confidential.Please get back to me urgently on receipt of this message,
Do not take undue advantage of the trust I have bestowed in you by informing you of this transaction from my bank as I will advise you to kindly desist from responding at all if you do NOT intend to render any assistance.
Thanks and best regards, Mr Olak