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)
- "transferred into your bank account" (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)
- "million 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: "MR. PROSPER VOKOUMA" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 06 Dec 2020 16:20:44 -0800
Subject: I HAVE GOOD NEWS
MANAGER ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (AFDB)
My dear friend,
How are you doing today?, My name is Mr. PROSPER VOKOUMA, I am one of the Managers for AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK. I hope you read this proposal carefully and reply me immediately. I know that we have not met before but this business transaction will bring us together. We had a customer in our bank. His name was Mr. Sean Rooney. He is from America. He was working at the World Trade Center in America. One of the hijacked planes crashed into his office in the 9/11 attack. He works at the 98th floor of the building. You can find the details of his death from the link below:
Mr. Sean Paul Rooney was the Vice President for Risk management services at the AON CORPORATION. He was a victim of the 11th September 2001 terrorist attack in America. When you get to the link then go to the section that has the heading: List of World Trade Center Victims
The board of directors and the management of the AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK has mandated and instructed me to go and look for Mr. Sean Paul Rooney's next of kin to come and claim his fund in our bank. The only next of kin that was stated categorically when he opened the bank account was his wife Mrs. Beverly Eckert. I have contacted the American embassy here in my country to inquire about his next of kin Mrs. Beverly Eckert. The ambassador at the American embassy here in my
country told me that his wife who is his only next of kin died in a plane crash on the 12th of February 2009. He also made me to understand that they don't have kids.
This means that the whole family is gone. What a sad story. He used his wife as his next of kin when opening his bank account with our bank but now she is no more. The reason why I contacted you is that Mr. Sean Rooney is dead and his wife who is his next of kin is also dead. The board of directors and the management of this bank do not know about these developments. The board of directors and the management of this bank have told me that if nobody applies for the
fund then the bank will return the whole fund into our federal reserve. I want you to apply to the bank as the only surviving next of kin to late Mr. Sean Paul Rooney. It might interest you to know that he had a domiciliary bank account with our bank. This bank account contains the sum of FIFTEEN MILLION DOLLARS. This is the exact amount he has in his domiciliary bank account before the ugly incident occurred. This money is still in that bank account as UNCLAIMED FUND.
This business transaction is very simple and risk free. I am the ENVIRONMENT
YOUR FULL NAME:..............................
MOBILE PHONE NUMBER:...................................
In respect to this transaction, we agree that 45% of this money will be for you as my foreign partner and for the bank account that you shall provide. 55% will be for me. The expenses in this business transaction will be shared between us. The money will be transferred to the bank account that you shall provide. I will travel down to your
country after the money has been transferred into your bank account. Therefore to enable the immediate transfer of this fund into your bank account as arranged, you must apply first to the bank. Your swift response will be highly appreciated.
MR. PROSPER VOKOUMA
MANAGER ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (AFDBANK)
PLOT 12 DR. KWAME NKRUMAH ROAD