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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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.
- 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.
- +447035976446 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister Alberto Perez,Esq" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2010 19:47:24 -0800
Subject: DEAR LEGATEE OF LATE ENGINEER HAMILTON GRANT'S ESTATE
ALBERTO PEREZ CHAMBER
FROM THE DESK OF
BARRISTER ALBERTO PEREZ,
109 SWATTENDEN LANE CRANBROOK,
LONDON TN17 3PS,
I was the attorney to Late Engineer Hamilton Grant and I hereby attempt to reach you again
by this same email address stated on the WILL as my previous notification to you was
returned undelivered. I wish to notify you that late Engr.Hamilton Grant made you a legatee
to his WILL. He left the sum of three hundred and sixty thousand Great Britain
Pounds(GBP360,000.00) to you in the codicil to his last will and testament.
Being a widely travelled man, he must have been in contact with you in the past or simply
you were recommended to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wished you good. He
was a very dedicated Christian who loved to be involved in charitable projects.Until his
death he was a member of the Rotary Club International.And he died on the 12th day of July,
2007 at the age of 75years, and his WILL is now ready for execution.
According to him this money is to support your humanitarian activities and to help the poor
and the needy in our society.Please if I reach you this time as I am hopeful endeavour to
get back to me.I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.
Barrister Alberto Perez,Esq
Tel: +4470359 76446