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:
- "consignment " (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)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "BARR.WILLIAMS FRANKLIN" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2010 06:48:38 +0100
Subject: LOOKING FOR AN HONEST PARTNER!!!
From: Barr. Williams Franklin.
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Good day,Due to the urgent demand I,m contacting you concerning my late client fund consignment in the bank here in Benin Republic.
I am a Thirty nine (39) years old established lawyer, a legal attorney to the expatriate and a consultant with an Australian Oil company, WOODSIDE (Now deceased).
He died in an Air disaster on 26th December 2005 while on vacation going to his home country. five years ago, my Client successfully executed a contract that worth ? 47.3 Million Euros.
A part payment of ? 35 Million Euro was paid to him, while the balance of ? 12.3 Million Euro stood unpaid before his sudden death in the Air disaster.And after his death the 12.3million euro was paid into his account as usual from the above Australian oil company.
Then recently, the management of his bank sent a notification letter to me, informing me of the existence of the ? 12.3 Million Euro unclaimed claiming that if they did not have response from my client or any of his relations that they will dump the fund in their dullman account.
All my efforts to locate his relations possible next of kin however proved abortive. Up till now I haven,t gotten anybody, he was single. He lost his wife 12 years ago and was trying to remarry. Now the crux of this letter is that by the end of the year if no body comes the bank will divert all unclaimed bill to the government as coffers account.
I am his personal attorney/Adviser, his bank has officially notified me and instructed me to forward particulars of my client's next of kin within the next 21 official working days so that he/she can be paid the outstanding ? 12.3 Million Euro or the fund will be diverted as advised.
Following my inability to locate any of his relatives, I decided to contact you for a deal so that we can work together as a team to remit the money into your account as my clients "next-of-kin" because I do not want to seat and watch my client hard earned entitlement go into wrong use.
I assure you that this is achievable; as a lawyer, I will immediately source the relevant documentation that will perfect the claim all I need from you is your honest co-operation (trust and confidentiality) to enable us see this deal through within the short time.
As an attorney, I guarantee you that this proposal is with the best of intensions and no risk what so ever.
Upon successful conclusion of this project, your percentage will be 50% of the total fund, while 50% will be mine.
If this is workable, urgently contact me through phone/mail to give you further clarification on how to contact the bank for your cliams.
Barr. Williams Franklin,
phone;+229 96 285 498