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:
- "the 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)
- "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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mark Donovan" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2010 18:27:33 -0400
Subject: Sincere Response Needed
How are you doing today? Kindly accept my apology for sending this unsolicited mail to you. I believe you are a highly respected personality, considering the fact that I source your profile from a human resources profile database of your country.
I am Barrister Mark Donovan, a legal Lawyer, personal attorney to Mr.David Mark,who worked with SAZOF Company here in Republic of Togo, on the 12TH June 2007, my client, his wife and children unfortunately lost there lives in a Car Explosion, on a summer trip to northern part of our Country, KARA STATE.
I have made several inquiry to locate any of my client extended relatives, this has been proved unsuccessful to my effort to locate my late client relatives. After several of my attempts is unsuccessful , I decided to contact you, to stand as my deceased client relatives,I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the fund valued at US$7,245.000.00 (Seven Million Two Hundred And Forty Five Thousand United States Dollars) left behind by my client before it gets confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Security Company in Lome/Togo my residing nationality country by birth, where this huge amount was deposited in a Consignment Luggage, under the coverage of family valuables, The said Security Company has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have this Consignment Luggage confiscated within the next seven (7) working official days as they don't know the content of the Consignment Luggage, that it is money that is in the Consignment Luggage.
Since i have been unsuccessfully in locating the relatives of my late client, I seek your attention to present you as the next of kin deceased of my late client, so that the proceedings of his Consignment Luggage can be transfer to you. Therefore, on receipt of your positive response, we shall then discuss the sharing ratio and modalities for transfers as I have every necessary information and legal documents needed to back you up for the claim.
You are related with my late client or not, all I need is your urgent respond so that we can both achieve this aim together undue the advantage of the trust I have bestowed on you before contacting you. Legal information you need mostly to present to the Security Company as the next of kin to my late client, is with me in my Chambers.
All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction come through, I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law, I don't want third party with us, this should be secret between me and you, if we are fast, we will not spend less than 7 working official days.
I await your urgent response.
Your Full Name.
Your Current Contact Address.
Your Private Cell/Telephone Number.
Your Fax Number.
Your Date Of Birth.
Your E-mail Address.
Waiting to hear from you through my Email (email@example.com)
And my Telephone Number +228 724 25 04
Thanks and God bless