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:
- "mobilization fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "into 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)
- ",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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "chambers" (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: "Carl Smith" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2009 18:29:05 -0000
Subject: GOOD DAY
Barrister Carl Smith Chambers & Advocates
Address: 60 Bays water Road London W2 3PS,
I am sorry for contacting you through this medium without a previous notice; I had to use email because it is an official and more confidential way of making contact with people around the world. My name is Barrister .Carl Smith a fifty seven (57) years old Attorney in practice here in London. I had a client by name Mr. Charles Dare who is a British Citizen and contractor based here in London now deceased On the 2nd of August 2003, my client, his wife and their only child were involved in a car accident on their
way to Manchester along M25 Adytum Road.
Prior to the Death of my Late Client, He secured a contract of $12,500,000.00 million from the British Airways, following which he received a 30% mobilization fee of US$3,750,000.00 Million and successfully executed the contract, but the balance of US$8,750,000.00 Million contract payment was in the Process of being transferred into My Late Client's Account with Barclays Bank Plc London which he submitted to the British Airways before he lost his life in the incidence.
Two weeks after his sudden Death, The British Airways affected the transfer of the balance of his Contract Funds into the Account that My Late Client has on his file with them. As his personal attorney after his death I have been officially notified and instructed by the Barclays Bank Plc London where the money is currently deposited that I should provide and forward the particulars of Mr. Dare next of kin so that the Funds in his Account can be remitted into his Next of Kin's Account in accordance with British Laws. However, as the personal attorney and close confident of late Mr. Dare, I want you to know that my late Client died interstate, He died without leaving a Will. Hence all my efforts to locate any of his relative whom I can present to the Bank as his next of kin have proved abortive.
Therefore I am seeking for your consent to present you as the deceased relative/next of kin and subsequently the beneficiary of the fund so that the proceed of this account valued at $8,750,000.00 Million can be paid to you for subsequent disbursement between you and I. If you can cooperate with me and receive these funds as next of kin to late Mr. Charles Dare, Confirm your interest by contacting me through my confidential email above. I can assure you that the deal is 100% risk free because I am in possession of the deceased personal file which contains all information which I shall use to prove your relationship with the deceased therefore the money will be paid into the account of whomever I present as LATE Mr. Dare Next of kin with proofs that I will present to the bank when needed.
When I receive a positive response and after proper discussion with you, I will furnish you all relevant information that will facilitate the release of the Funds to you. An Application will have to be filed to the Bank for processing of the release of the Funds into your nominated Bank account anywhere in the world. Send to me your private phone and fax numbers for easy communication . Hope to hear from you through the above e-mail address. Your Prompt response is highly imperative.
Barrister Carl Smith