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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million us 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))
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mohamed Yaya <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2021 02:47:21 +0100
Subject: FROM THE DESK OF MR MOHAMED YAYA.....Urgent Attention, Sir / Madam
FROM THE DESK OF MR MOHAMED YAYA
UNITED BANK OF AFRICA (UBA)
Urgent Attention, Sir / Madam
I have a proposal for you - this however is not mandatory nor will I in any
manner compel you to honor against your will. I am 50, and work with a bank
(one of the African leading banks in the West Coast). Here in this bank
existed a dormant account for the past 15 years which belong to an American
national who is now late Mr.Raymond Beck and Mrs. Dorene Beck, died on
Egypt Air Flight 990 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/502503.stm
When I discovered that there had been no deposits nor withdrawals from this
account for this long period, I decided to carry out a system investigation
and I discovered that none of the family member nor relations of the late
person is aware of this account. This is the story in a nutshell. Now I
want an account overseas where the bank will transfer this fund.
Thereafter, I had planned to destroy all related documents for this
account. It is a careful network and for the past eleven months I have
worked out everything to ensure a hitch-free operation. The amount is not
so much at the moment and plus all the accumulated interest the balance in
this account stands at-(US$100 million US dollars).
Now our questions are:-
1. Can you handle this project?
2. Can I give you this trust?
3. What will be your commission? If you can sponsor this transfer.
Consider this and get back at us as soon as possible.
Finally, it is our humble prayer that the information as contained herein
is accorded the necessary attention, urgency as well as the secrecy it
deserves. I Expect your urgent response if you can handle this project.
Mr. Mohamed Yaya