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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "huge deposit" (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)
- "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: "Barrister. Manuel Gamallo" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2010 11:29:20 -0700
Subject: Waiting to hear from you
Barrister. Manuel Gamallo.
We do not know each other, but you are one of the three persons I have sent this email to with the hope to get a positive and sincere response in order to go into a deal that would bring life fortune to us. I am Barrister Manuel Gamallo a Belgium/Spanish national, a solicitor at law. I am the personal attorney to a client who was a Foreign Contractor Engineer and has spent most of his life here in Spain.
On the 19th of April 2006, my client, his wife and their only son were involved in a ghastly car accident along Pinto express road. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives. Since then I have made several enquiries on where about his extended relatives but all efforts was unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to contact you and solicit for your confidential assistance as a foreigner to execute the claim of this fund. Because I find out that both of you have the same surname.
I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the assets and Capital valued at US$18.5million left behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Bank in Madrid Spain, where these huge deposits were lodged. The said Bank has issued me a notice to provide the next of Kin or have the account confiscated within the next twenty-one Official working days.
Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 2 years now, I seek the consent to present you as the Next of kin to the deceased since no-one has come for this fund more over you both have the same surname, so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to your account. The request of a foreigner as the next of kin in this transaction is occasioned by the fact that my client was a foreigner and the money cannot be paid into a local bank here, so it will be better for you to stand as the next of kin to my client. Therefore, on receipt of your positive response, we shall then discuss the sharing ratio and modalities for the transfer. I have all necessary information and legal documents needed to back you up for this claim.
All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please reply if interested via e-mail at email@example.com; Waiting to hear from you.
Barrister. Manuel Gamallo.