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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- +447024029744 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "MORGAN PHILLIPS ESQ" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 11 Oct 2009 16:03:50 +0200
Subject: RE:SECOND NOTIFICATION
MORGAN PHILLIPS ESQ
I am in receipt of your response to the notification.
Kindly note that the notice you received has been prompted by the information contained in the WILL of the deceased. I stand to gain nothing in this matter, other than fulfilling the obligations bestowed on me by the late Mr. Richard Moore to ensure that his wishes are carried out as contained in his WILL. The value of the estate bequeathed to you is about $6.750, 000.00. The copy of the Will shall be made available to you after an application of claims has been filed at the Bristol probate registry for security reasons.
The Will has to be executed before you can claim the bequest made to you. In order to execute the WILL, I need you to reconfirm your full names, current address, and phone numbers, with which I would process and obtain a probate order from the Probate Registry division of Her Majesty's Courts Services that will enable you claim your money from the finance institution were it is lodged.
Do get back to me with your details to enable me commence the processing. And do call me for discussions on receipt of this mail.
Morgan Phillips Esq.