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:
- "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: John West <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2011 09:25:42 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Inheritance Claim.
I barrister John West, an attorney to Mr. James Bendon,who died here in Dubai UAE eight years ago, but leaving no one as an inheritor to his assets. And his death was as a result of an auto crash along one of the highways here in UAE.
He has a certain amount/asset (money) in his Domiciliary Account at the National Bank of Dubai UAE, which I was notified and was requested to produce my late clientâs next of kin for the claim.
As the bank did their auditing and discovers the money left into his account, they written me two times and I had been searching for a relative of my late client without any success in the past one year until their last letter which appeared that they will confiscate the funds if not claimed.
Eventually his personal banker in the bank is a good friend of mine, and he advised me to look for who will be capable to stand as his next of kin, (even if you are not related with him) in order to present you to the bank so that his asset will be transferred to you onto the agreement of sharing the money with you at the successful conclusion of the transfer. Â
As a banker and as insider, he will be feeding me with the useful information that we will be using to secure this transfer.
We will discuss the mode of sharing (it is going to be mutual for both parties) once I confirm your readiness to be a partner to this deal, as every step to be taken will be guided accordingly.
I expect to hearing from you as soon as possible.
Barrister John West.