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)
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "million united states 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)
- "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)
- "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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Elizabeth Soon, CFA" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2021 01:20:00 +0200
Subject: Legitimate Transaction
I am Elizabeth Soon the managing director and portfolio manager of Southeast Asia Equities. I joined AIG Global Investments Corp. in 2006. Prior to joining AIGGIC, I served as a portfolio manager at Swiss-owned fund management group, HSZ, since 2006.Prior to 2006,
I have an urgent and very confidential business proposition for you. On November 21st, 2013; Mr. Vin Bakken, a National of NORWEGIAN who used to be a private contractor with the Shell Petroleum Development Company in Saudi Arabia. Mr. Vin Bakken Made a Numbered time (Fixed deposit) for 36 calendar months, valued at $500, 000,000.00 (Five Hundred Million united States Dollars) in my Branch.
Upon maturity in 2017, I sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply. After a month, we sent a reminder and finally we discovered from his contract
employers, Shell Petroleum Development Company in Saudi Arabia that Mr. Vin Bakken And his wife with their three children were involved in an auto crash, and all occupants of the vehicle Lost their Life. On further investigation, I found out that he died without making a WILL, and all attempts to trace his next of kin was fruitless.
I therefore made further investigation and discovered that Mr. Vin Bakken did not declare any next of kin or Relations in all his official documents, including his Bank Deposit paperwork in my Bank. The sum of $500, 000,000.00 (Five Hundred Million united States Dollars have been floating as unclaimed since 2017 in my bank as all efforts to get his relatives have hit the stones. According to the Chines law at the expiration of 4 (FOUR) years, the money will revert to the ownership of the Chines Government if nobody applies to claim the fund and the four years is the end of November 2021.
Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 2 years now, I seek your onsent to present you as the next of kin / Will Beneficiary to the deceased so that the proceeds of this account valued at $500, 000,000.00 can be transferred/paid to you. This will be disbursed or shared in these percentages, 60% to me and 40% to you. I have all necessary legal documents that can be used to back up any claim we may make. All I require is your honest Co-operation, Confidentiality and A trust to enable us sees this transaction through. I guarantee you that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please get in touch with me urgently by E-mail and Provide me with the
1. Full Name
2. Your Telephone Number and Fax Number
3. Your Contact Address.
4. Your Age.
response will be highly anticipated and appreciated.
Elizabeth Soon, CFA