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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ken Cole"<firstname.lastname@example.org> (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2010 18:57:01 -0400
Subject: Your prompt response shall be most appreciated
75 Drayton Park
London N5 1BU
I am Barrister Barrack Maloud, a partner to Stephen Collins solicitors and advocate.
I am the principle attorney to a late client of mine, who herein after shall be
referred to as my client, Who lived here in London, he spent all his life
herein London but died of cardiac arrest after hearing of the death of his wife
and only daughter at world trade centre September 11th 2001 in America.
I personally contacted you because you bear the same last name with him, since
I have made several inquiries to locate any of my clients extended relatives
but this proved unsuccessful.
Presently, the Bank where the deceased (my client) had a Deposit valued at
US$32 Million united states dollars issued me a notice to provide the
next-of-kin to my client to receive its benefit or have the Funds confiscated,
so I have contacted you to assist me in repatriating this benefit left behind
by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Bank.
After all these several unsuccessful attempts, since it is not compulsory that
the next-of-kin must be a blood relation to the deceased, hence I contacted you
because you are from the same country with my late client, Be informed that a
Next-of-kin can be anybody, friends or organization.
To this effect, I now seek your consent to present you to the Bank as the next
of kin of the deceased (my Client) so that the proceeds of this Deposit valued
at US Thirty Two Million united states dollars can be paid to you and then you
and I can share the money; 50% to me and 40% to you, while 10% should be given
to any Orphanage Home because the funds belongs to a dead person.
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will
protect you from any breach of the law. Please get in touch with me with the
below details immediately you acknowledge receipt of this message. If this
business proposal affects your moral values, do accept my apology but if not,
get back to me with the information?s stated below to enable me file in an
application for the funds release from the bank where it was deposited.
Your prompt response shall be most appreciated.
Barrack Maloud (Esq.)