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:
- "greater london" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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 british pounds" (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)
- "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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447092859371 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Johnson Morgan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2023 10:43:28 +0000
Subject: RE:PROGRESSIVE PAYMENT CONFIRMATION!
From: Mr. Johnson Morgan.
Credit Grand Alliance Bank Plc
6 Lower Thames Street, London
Greater London, EC2R 7DU UK
Tel: 44 2038-3553-86
Fax: 44 7092-8593-71
Good Day Dear!
How are you and your family? I hope my letter meets you in your best mood today. My name is Mr. Johnson Morgan, I am the Operation/Regional Branch Head Manager of Credit Grand Alliance Bank Plc London. I decided to seek a top secret/confidential co-operation with you in the execution of a transactions deal described here-under for our both mutual benefit. During the annual bank audits, I discovered an abandoned/unclaimed fund, sum total of Â£19.100,000 GBP (Nineteen Million One Hundred Thousand British Pounds Sterling) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customers (Late David McDowell Brown) an American from Arlington, Virginia, who unfortunately lost his life as a single with the entire crew on February 1, 2003 over the southern United States Space Shuttle Columbia.
I discovered that he did not specify any next of kin or will beneficiary to his account after going through his file in our bank. I sincerely and deliberately seek your consent to present you as the next of kin / will beneficiary to the deceased so that the sum valued at Â£19.1 Million British Pounds Sterling will be transferred to you, which will be shared in these percentage ratio: 50% for me and 40% to you respectively while 10% is for any expenses incurred during the transaction.
I need your sincere co-operation, trust and utmost confidentiality to enable us conduct this transaction successfully. I assure and promise you that this transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law both in your country and here in London as the fund is transferred to your nominated bank account. Upon consideration and acceptance of this offer, kindly forward me the following information immediately to my private email address for more confidentiality: email@example.com
1. Your full name:
2. Your full contact address:
3. Your direct mobile telephone number:
4. Your email address:
5. Your date of birth
6. Your occupation:
To enable me upload your information in our bank database to reflect in the bank network system that you are the named next of kin/will beneficiary of this account, then I will guide you on communication with the bank for onward transfer of this fund to you.
NOTE: We have few banking days to execute this transaction deal.
Thanks in anticipation of your urgent response.
Mr. Johnson Morgan.