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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
- +447024058781 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "DAVID JONES" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 30 May 2010 07:22:20 -0700
Subject: LEGAL PROPOSAL
I AM BARRISTER DAVID JONES, I AM A LEGAL PRACTITIONER,A SOLICITOR TO LATE MR MOHAMMED HASSAN. I AM WRITING THIS LETTER TO ASK FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND COOPERATION TO CARRY OUT THIS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY IN MY CAPACITY.MR MOHAMMED HASSAN WAS MY CLIENT BEFORE HIS SUDDEN DEATH IN THE YEAR 2006 DECEMDER 18TH ALONG WITH HIS ENTIRE FAMILY A WIFE AND TWO CHILDREN IN A FATAL MOTOR ACCIDENT HERE IN UNITED KINGDOM, BEFORE HIS DEATH MR MOHAMMED HASSAN, HAS A DEPOSIT OF USD45.5MILLION (FORTY-FIVE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS) WITH A BANK IN ASIA COUNTINENT (AGRICULTURAL BANK OF CHINA) AND HE MADE HIS WIFE HIS NEXT OF KIN TO THE ACCOUNT, BUT UNFORTUNATELY SHE DIED ALONG WITH HIM,SINCE THE DEATH OF MY CLIENT HIS BANK IN ASIA HAVE SEVERAL TIMES WRITTEN TO ME TO PRESENT MY LATE CLIENTS SUBSTITUTED NEXT OF KIN WHO WILL CLAIM HIS MONEY IN THEIR BANK,AND I HAVE MADE SEVERAL ATTEMPTS TO SEE IF I COULD LOCATE ANY OF HIS DISTANCE RELATIVES BUT ALL PROVED ABORTIVE.
SO I AM WRITING TO YOU IN OTHER TO USE YOU AS THE NEXT OF KIN TO MY LATE CLIENT SO THAT YOU WILL CLAIM THE FUND AND IT WILL BE SHARED BOTH OF US ACCORDING TO HOW IT IS BEEN STATED HERE 40% FOR YOU 50% FOR ME WHILE 10% WILL BE SET-ASIDE TO TAKE CARE OF EXPENSES INCURED BY BOTH OF US DURING THE TRANSACTION, PLEASE I WOULD LIKE YOU TO APPROACH THIS TRANSACTION WITHOUT ANY BIASED MIND WHILE DECLARING YOUR INTEREST BECAUSE AS THE LAWYER, I HAVE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION ALL THE LEGAL ASPECTS TO AVOID UNNECESSARY RISK.
THEREFORE YOU SHOULD FORWARD TO ME YOUR FULL NAME, FULL ADDRESS AND YOUR PRIVATE PHONE AND EMAIL ADDRESS,THESE INFORMATION WILL ENABLE ME TO PRESENT YOU TO THE BANK AS HIS BONAFIDE/BENEFICIARY NEXT OF KIN AND THE FUND WILL TRANSFER TO YOUR ACCOUNT BY THE BANK.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE WILL BE AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN BOTH US WHICH WILL FORM THE BASES OF THIS TRANSACTION, WHICH WILL GIVE EACH PARTNER A LEGAL BACK INCASE OF ANY PROBLEM FROM ANY OF US. THEREFORE THE MOMENT I RECEIVE YOUR CONSENT MAIL, I WILL PROVIDE THE AGREEMENT FOR YOUR ACTION AND SIGNATURE.
FINALLY I WANT TO ASSURE YOU THAT THIS TRANSACTION IS RISK-FREE BOTH NOW AND AFTER THE SUCCESSFUL TRANSMISSION OF THE FUND INTO YOUR ACCOUNT.
BARRISTER DAVID JONES