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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister David Ephraim"<email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 2009 22:20:13 +0200
OUR REF: MH/ASSO/P01/7367/10/08 YOUR REF:PROPOSAL
Firstly, I must solicit your confidence in this transaction; this is by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and top secret. Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and worried, but I am assuring you that all will be well at the end of the day.
Let me start by first introducing myself properly to you. It may surprise you receiving this letter from me, since there was no previous correspondence between us. My name is David Ephraim. Esq. a personal Attorney to Late (MR. ANDREAS SCHRANNER from Munich, Germany) who died along with his entire family in July 2000 in a plane crash.And for your perusal you can view this web site: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/859479.stm
My purpose of contacting you is for you to help secure the funds left behind by my late client, to avoid it being confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Bank Where this fund valued 7,500,000.00(Seven Million Five hundred thousand Euros Only) deposited by my client before her death.
The Bank has issued me a notice to contact the next of kin or the account will be declared unserviceable and the fund diverted to the Bank treasury, So far all my efforts to get a hold of someone related to this woman has proved abortive. Hence, I have contacted you. I am actually asking for your consent to present you to the Bank as the Next of Kin/beneficiary of my late client's fund, since you have the same last name, so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to your account.
All the legal documentations to back up your claim as my client's Next of Kin I shall provided them. All I require is your honest cooperation to
enable us achieve this transaction.
I wish to point out that I want 20% of this money to be shared among the charity Organizations, while the remaining 80% is shared equally between us. This proposition is entirely risk free. I will use my position as the clients attorney to guarantee the successful execution of this transaction. If you are interested, please contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org Upon your response, I shall then provide you with more details and relevant documents that will help you understand this transaction well.
The intended transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any infraction of the law. However, if this business proposition offends your moral ethics, do accept my sincere apology.
If on the contrary you wish to achieve this goal with me, kindly get back to me with your interest for further explanation.