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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Gary Peterson" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 6 Jul 2013 17:51:26 -0700
Subject: 2nd attempt to reach you!!!!
This is our second attempt to reach you.
We are in search of a relative of our late client who happens to bear
the same last name as you.( Andrew is his first name but we have
withheld further details for confidentiality purposes until we can
atlest validate the possibility of a relationship.) We cannot
ascertain if you are directly related to the late Andrew but we are
taking a chance to contact you. He lived
in the UK for well over 15 years. Until his death, he had vast
investments in the Oil sector in Qatar. He was aged 59, never married
and had no kids. His financial investments in one of the banks is on
the verge of being declared non-transferable.
We are in dire need to file for the release of this inheritance funds
in value of US$10.5 Million. In the event that you are not in any way
related to this him, we humbly ask for your assistance in partnering
with us to get this funds released in your name.
Please provide the following information to enable us file a claim immediately.
1. FULL NAMES
2. CONTACT MAILING ADDRESS
4. PHONE NUMBER
Hoping to hear back from you pretty soon.
SJ Berwin LLP
10 Queen Street Place
London EC4R 1BE