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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2021 22:47:30 -0800
Subject: Thanks you
Good day dear
I will want our communication to be basically through email for now
for security reasons. I want you to partner with me in getting back
the money ($3,000,000.00 USD) left behind in a fixed deposit account
in our bank by a citizen of the Philippines, Late Mr. Alberto Paulino.
If this will endanger your position and reputation, I would not have
contacted you. This is safe and beneficial. I am presently the
operations manager of our Bank in the United States of America. Please
do not expose this transaction for any reason, I will give you more
information about myself, our bank and the transaction itself once you
Late Mr. Alberto Paulino lived and worked in a City here as an
international businessman. He deposited in our bank the sum of Three
Million United States Dollars($3,000,000.00) as fixed deposit. This
deposit has long matured and has gone dormant for about eight years.
We tried to reach him and could not. His telephone number could not be
reached, emails sent to him kept bouncing back as undelivered and we
never got any response from the letters posted to his residential
address. This issue prompted me to carry out an independent
investigation about his whereabouts since he did not provide a next of
kin or beneficiary at the time he made the deposit with us. I later
realized with shock that he died sometime in November 2012 of a heart
related illness in a London hospital. His death was not reported to
our bank from that time till this moment and nobody in our bank is
aware of this. He was a kind hear-ted man. I pray may his gentle soul
rest in peace.
However, I have on my own made several inquiries at the Philippines
embassy and no information about him was found, which I find weird. My
effort to locate any of his relatives took me to the Philippines some
months ago and the regional passport office in Manilla informed me
that the passport number was irrelevant and not issued anywhere in the
Philippines. Since this is the issue, I want you to apply as the
Beneficiary and business partner and next of kin to the deceased to
claim the deposit from our bank, It does not matter whether you knew
him or not, it doesn't matter if you have any kind of relationship
with him or not. I will guide you all the way to make this claim a
Bear in mind that this is not a matter of being greedy or having ugly
morals, it is not the best to leave the money to eventually end up in
Government hands while we have the opportunity to live better with it.
This is a risk free transaction, as I am the operations manager of our
Bank and the final approval of your application will be done by my
department. Once it is approved, you will have the right to claim the
money. And when it is transferred to you, I will come to meet with you
in your home country in order to share the money which will be divided
into two equal parts (50:50) for each of us after deducting all the
costs incurred in getting the money transferred.
With my influence, our bank will tender the necessary documents to you
to enable a smooth transfer of the money into your bank account
anywhere in the world. Everything will be done legally, have no fear
about this. Right now, I have all the copies of the documents relating
to the fixed deposit Mr. Alberto Paulino made that you will file to
back up this claim. All I require now is your honest cooperation to
enable us to make this claim a success and we have to do this within
the shortest time possible.
If you are willing to do this with me, write back and I shall inform
you on what to do next. If nothing is done immediately, the money will
be returned to the government treasury as an abandoned or unclaimed
fund and we will gain nothing from it. I am waiting for your consent
in order to move to the next step towards getting the fund.
Thank you and I am waiting for your reply.Email;firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Donne Williams
Operations manager RBS