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:
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "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: "SABASTINE COE" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2013 02:26:07 -0600
Subject: From Sabastine Coe
I am Barrister Sabastine Coe, a legal practitioner with JasonShaw law firm in Leeds, United kingdom, I saw your contact and profile and decided that you could cooperate with me in this proposition.
I have a client who was deceased in November 2004, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I am contacting you because you have the same surname as my deceased client and i felt that you could help me in the distribution of the assets that were left by the deceased client.
This fund is close to being declared un-serviceable by the finance house as there were no indicated next of kin or next of beneficiary of the fund in the account, having remained dormant for long.
The finance house had issued me, a notification to contact the next of kin of my deceased client, to make beneficiary claim, of the fund in the account, with a month surcharge of 6% to be deducted as an Escrow safe keeping fee of the account, so as to avoid the indefinite closure of the account.
My proposition to you is to seek your consent, and to present your kind self as the next-of-kin and beneficiary of my deceased client, since you have the same last name with him.
This means that the proceeds of his account would be paid to you as his next of kin or the legitimate beneficiary. When the proceeds in his account are paid to you, we would share the proceeds on a mutually agreed-upon percentage of 60% to me and 40% to your kind self.
All the legal documents to back up your claim as my client's next of-kin would be provided by me. The most important thing I would need is your honesty, utmost confidentiality and cooperation in this proposition. This would be done under a legitimate arrangement that would protect you from any breach of the law.
Please If this business proposition offends your Value, feel free to decline this proposal. And do not hesitate to contact me at once if you're interested by replying the mail.