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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "observe utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: James A William <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2020 11:24:46 +0100
Subject: partnership request
Compliments of the day,
I honestly apologize and hope I do not cause you much embarrassment by
contacting you through this means for a transaction of this magnitude;
I got your email address on the internet and it is imperative for me
to know your opinion. I am James Williams, Credit Officer of the HSBC
Bank here in Dubai United Arab Emirates. I have an urgent and very
confidential business proposition for you.
About one (1) year ago a British Oil consultant/contractor with the
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) here in the United Arab
Emirates, Mr. Howard Connell made a numbered time (Fixed) Deposit for
twelve calendar months, valued at AED 50,000,000.00 (50 Million
Dirhamâs only) in my branch. Upon maturity, I sent a routine
notification to his forwarding address but got no reply. After a
month, we sent a reminder and finally we discovered a sad information
from his contract employers, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)
that Mr. Howard Connell had died of corona virus related complications
in the United Kingdom 4 months ago.
On further investigation, I found out that he died without writing a
WILL and all attempts to trace his next of kin were fruitless. I,
therefore, made further investigation and discovered that Mr. Howard
Connell did not declare any kin or relations in all his official
documents, including his Bank Deposit paperwork in my Bank. This sum
of AED 50,000,000.00 (50 Million Dirhamâs only) is still sitting in my
Bank and the interest is being rolled over with the principal sum at
the end of each year. No one will ever come forward to claim it.
According to the Laws of the United Arab Emirates, at the expiration
of Three (3) years, the money will revert to the ownership of the
United Arab Emirates Government if nobody applies to claim the fund.
Consequently, my proposal is that I will like you as a foreigner to
stand in as the next of kin to late Mr. Howard Connell so that the
fruits of this man's labor will not get into the hands of some
stupendously wealthy government officials. This is simple if you
accept this proposal by providing your bio-data details so that a law
attorney will prepare the necessary documents and affidavits that will
put you in place as the next of kin and draft a WILL Notarization and
obtain all necessary documents and letter of probate/administration in
your favor for the transfer. The money will be paid into your
nominated account for us to share in the ratio of 50% for me and 45%
for you and 5% for Expenses Incurred in the course of the transaction.
There is no risk at all as all the paperwork for this transaction will
be done by the law attorney and with my position as the credit officer
in the Bank guarantees the successful execution of this transaction.
Upon your response, I shall then provide you with more details and
relevant documents that will help you understand the transaction.
You should observe utmost confidentiality, and rest assured that this
transaction would be most profitable for both of us because I shall
require your assistance to invest my share in any profitable business
in your country.
While awaiting your positive response, accept my kind Regards