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)
- "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)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Robin Ramphal" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2021 07:58:38 +0000
PRIVATE AND URGENT.
I am Mr.Robin Ramphal, and I am contacting you on business transfer of
a huge sum of money from a deceased account. Though I know that a
transaction of this magnitude will make anyone apprehensive and
worried, but I am assuring you that all will be well at the end of the
day. I decided to contact you due to the urgency of this transaction.
I am an account manager with UBP Bank here in Jersey Channel Islands,
in charge of all nonresident accounts. I have been in this capacity
working with the bank for the last 15 years and I joined this
institution in 1983 as a junior clerk and worked my way up through the
ranks. On assumption of duty in November 2002 I discovered a dormant
account in my branch that was opened in 1985 in the name of Karl
Henning and I have kept close tab on this very account for the last
15 years and it has remained dormant even from the day the first
deposit of USD($4.5 Million dollars) was made to this moment, we have
been investigating this account for the past 15 years and discovered
that Karl Henning was used as Pseudonym Name to open the account while
the original owner of the funds in question was the late president of
Philippines Ferdinand Marcos. The next of kin part was left blank
hence it was impossible for them to have claimed the funds these past
years or they have forgotten the existence of the funds entirely, in
agreement with my senior executive officer we have agreed to expunge
the blank portion of the next of kin and fill it up with the name of a
would be partner who we can insert his or her name and start the
process of transferring the funds out of the account to the new would
be beneficiary. I also have secured from the probate an order of
mandamus to locate any member of deceased Karl Henning family to
become beneficiary of this fund. Please acknowledge receipt of this
message in acceptance of our mutual business Endeavour by furnishing
me with the following:
1.Beneficiary name and address
These requirements will enable me make some internal re-adjustments
and file your name in all the forms and other vital documents as next
of kin to the Pseudonym Name Karl Henning which before now was left
blank when the account was opened many years ago. Upon your reply, we
shall then discuss the sharing ratio and advice you the detailed
procedure to follow and achieve this once in a life time opportunity
without any hitch. I must assure you that if you are serious and
follow my lead religiously, these funds will be processed and released
to you within 14-working-day period. If this proposal is acceptable by
you, do not take undue advantage of the trust I have bestowed in you,
I await your Immediate Reply.