Have you ever received an email advising you that your cooperation is needed to claim an unknown dead person’s money? And when you show interest, you will be asked to send them an amount as transfer fee or advanced fee? Well, you have just been a recipient of a 419 scam email.

What are 419 scams?

It is a type of fraud named after an article of the Nigerian penal code under which it is prosecuted. It usually involves the victim having to send money for advanced fees for the transactions promised to them.

A friend of mine was in dire need of a big amount a few days back, and while searching the net for payday loan, came across a very enticing advertisement on A man named Mr. Kelly was offering many types of loans. All my friend needed to do was email the application form back and the loan will be processed.

My friend received the application form in an email sent through Yahoo. Of course, being in need of money, she completed the form in a few minutes and emailed it back. A few minutes later, she received the terms and conditions.

If you would look at it carefully, the interest is really quite low, whoever needs money would think that it really is a good deal. My friend was even given the option to choose the payment duration without the interest rate changing. Aside from this, the lender, Mr. Kelly, is often online and they’ve had several chats together.

She was then informed that they will need her bank details for the loan proceeds to be transferred, and she will be receiving an email from Mr. Kelly’s bank, Zenith Bank PLC. A few hours later, my friend received the email.

As stated in the email, she would need to send the bank $220.00 as transfer fees. Without it, her loan proceeds cannot be sent to her. When she asked Mr. Kelly about it and told him that she doesn’t have that kind of money, he became very abrupt and signed off while they were still chatting.

My friend told me about this the next day and I decided to look up some information about it. I googled Mr. Kelly’s Yahoo username and found several of his ads. I then proceeded to look up the name of the bank manager who sent the confirmation email from Zenith Bank. According to several sites I went to, Mr. Harty Les is a name commonly used in the 419 scams which have been tagged before. Zenith bank is a Nigerian bank often affiliated with 419 scams. In short, my friend was scammed. It was a good thing that she didn’t have the money to send as her transfer fee.

According to her chat logs, Mr. Kelly Emmanuel is a businessman with lending companies in London and Portugal, but was based mainly in Nigeria. He said that his main business was lending money internationally. Checking the net, his ads were actually in 3 different languages. Anyone who’s not well-versed with online scams would immediately accept the veracity of his lending companies as each advertisement not only gives his contact details, but the offers are also very enticing.

I then told my friend what I learned on the net. I advised her not to easily believe in ads like these. The most telling detail in this transaction is that Zenith bank sent a email using a free email service. Any company would use their own company emails to communicate with clients.

For more information on 419 scams, please click here.