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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "trunk box" (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)
- "trunk boxes" (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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Tony Ang <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2021 13:29:35 +0100
I am the a financial colsultant. I handle secret financial movements
for top politicians and high profile business associates globally.
This is a very confidential proposition for you. On July 21st 2003,an
Importer of Textiles and Automobiles (my client) whom I handle his
financial matters was one of the passengers who died with his
entire family in the ill-fated plane crash involving a UTA Boeing 727
Chartered Flight that took off from Cotonou Benin Republic and crashed
into Atlantic Ocean on Thursday 25th December 2003. Moved some funds
through me as usual with the help the red cross registrat I use to
move funds for politicians to overseas via diplomatic cash movement
system. This method is being used to move funds to avoid financial
taxes as being placed by banks. So in the method the funds are stacked
in trubk boxes and tagged content as dimplomatic materials to avoid
being inspected by any authority.
For further details of the Plane Crash, Please Visit
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3348109.stm Further investigations,
and all attempts to trace his next of kin was fruitless.
Again, I made further investigation and discovered that my Client did
not declare any next of kin or relations in all his deposit certificate
document which I have copy with me.
This sum of Fifteen million seven hundred thousand United States Dollars
(US$15.7 million USD)was moved out to a private security VAULT in
Europe. Because it was moved with the help of red cross agent who
moved the funds via cash in two trunk boxes to the present deposited
vault in Europe.
Consequently, my proposal is that I will like you as a foreigner to
stand in as the next of kin to the deceased to collect the said funds
This is simple, I will like you to respond immediately with your full
names and contact information so as I will send to you more details
The deposited two trunksv will be released to you for us to share in
the ratio of 50% for me and 40% for you, while 5% will be set aside
expenses that may arise in the process of this transaction and 5% to
the motherless and the needy in your country.
Upon your response, I shall then provide you with more details and
Please send to me your confidential telephone for easy
communication, oral discussion and more directives on what next to do.
You should observe utmost confidentiality and be rest assured that
this transaction would be most profitable for both of us because I
shall require your assistance to invest my share in your country which
you will be the arrow head of the investment.
I must not fail to tell you that this transaction is totally risk free
and legitimate as far as you can follow up with my instructions and
directives. So don't have any fear in
you about the transaction.
I Await your urgent reply.
Thanks and God bless.