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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2019 22:30:50 +0100
Subject: Hello Friend
I am Mrs. Grace Hendrawan, executive office holder, general operation and regional accountant of Standared Chartered Bank Plc, London United Kingdom. i believe it is the wheel of God for me to come across you today, also I hope that you will not expose or betray this trust and confident that I am about to impose on you. I have been in search of someone with this same last name, so when I saw your name, I was pushed to contact you for our mutual benefit.
One of our customer from your country had a fixed deposit account with our bank in 2004 that valued the Sum of Â£6,300,000.00 (Six million, Three hundred thousand British pounds). the maturity date for this deposit was on 2007, unfortunately he was among the death victims of the May 26, 2006 earthquake disaster in Jawa, Indonesia that killed about 5,782 people. And there is no next of kin Heir-apparent because he died with his entire family, and when the account was opened, he did not state any next of kin Heir-apparent, although as his account officer, he told me that he will later forward one of his relativeâs name as his next of kin to the account which he did not fulfilled before he met his death.
And since then, I have been looking for someone from your country with similar name. I was happy when i saw your name and I am now seeking for your co-operation to present you as the next of kin Heir to this account hence you have similar last name with the deceased. Do not be afraid, there is no risk involved and every legitimate arrangement to perfect this deal has been put in place.
For your involvement in this deal, you will receive 45% of the total amount after the money is transfer to you. Also for confidentiality in this transaction i will like us to keep via email for now. Should you consider this offer interesting, kindly send me the below information of yours completely. Kindly contact me on my private email (email@example.com).
Your Complete Name:
Your Full Contact Address:
Your Private Phone Number:
Your Major Occupation:
Thanks in anticipation of your urgent response.
Mrs. Grace Hendrawan.