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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barr. Herb Gary Esq" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 22:07:34 +0200
Subject: for your attention
This is a confidential business proposition and I request that it will be treated as such. It is specifically directed to you and I must solicit your confidentiality on it. I assure you that I am contacting you in good faith and this proposal will be of mutual benefit to us. I am Barr. Herb Gary a solicitor at law. I am the personal attorney/executor to a deceased client of my chambers who shares same surname with you, who was an independent oil magnate in my country, but died in an auto crash with his family on the 19th of August 2009 in East London.
My late client, a former Production Engineer with Premier Oil Plc., here in the United Kingdom had Left behind a deposit of Four Million Two Hundred Thousand British Pounds Sterling only (£4.2M) with a bank. After the death of my client, the Bank contacted me, as his attorney to provide his Next of kin who should inherit his fortune; this according to them is their policy in sure circumstances.
Since the death of my client, I have written several letters to the embassy with the intent to locate any of his extended relatives whom shall be claimants/beneficiaries of his abandoned personal estate and all such efforts have been to no avail. I had to inform the Bank about my fruitless effort in locating my late client close relative or his next of kin.The Board of directors of the Bank just adopted a resolution and I was mandated to provide his next of kin for the payment of his money within the next 15 official working days or forfeit the money as an abandoned funds. The Bank had planned to invoke the abandoned property Act of the Bank to confiscate the funds after the expiration of the period given me. Also I have received official letters in the last two days suggesting a likely proceeding for confiscation of his abandoned personal assets in line with existing laws of the institution.
Well I have reasons very professional and I can use a legal means to present a next of kin of my deceased client. This is legally possible and would be done in accordance with the laws of the land. On this note I decided to search for a credible person and finding that you bear a similar last name, I was urged to contact you, that I may with your consent, have you present yourself to the "Trustee" as my late client's family member, so as to enable you put up a claim to the bank in that capacity as a next of kin of my client.
I find this possible for the fuller reasons that you are of the same nationality and you bear a similar last name with my late client making it a lot easier for you to put up a claim in that capacity. I have all vital documents that would confer on you the legal right to make this claim and would make them available to you so that the proceeds from this bank account valued at £4.2 can be paid to you before it gets confiscated or declared unserviceable to the bank where this huge amount is lodged.
I do sincerely sympathize on the death of my client but think it is unprofitable for his funds to be submitted to the government of this country or some financial institution. My aim is to retrieve these funds and let it be claimed by the deceased family Lineage, etc. for this I seek your assistance since I have been unable to locate the relatives for the past 7 years now, I seek your consent to have you present yourself as the next of kin of the deceased since you have the same last name giving you the advantage, so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you and then both of us can share the money, 60% to me and 40% to you. I know there might be other persons out there with the same surname as my late client, but after a little check my instinct told me to contact you, and you like someone i can trust completely. I shall assemble all the necessary documents that will be used to back up your claim.
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. I will not fail to bring to your notice that this proposal is hitch-free and that you should not entertain any fears as the required arrangements have been made for the completion of this transfer.
Like I said, I require only a solemn confidentiality on this and if this proposal is acceptable to you, send your telephone and fax numbers to me to enable us discuss further on this transaction and do not take undue advantage of the trust I have bestowed in you. Thanks for your understanding.
I would appreciate your earliest response, by contacting me via my chamber's e-mail: email@example.com
Yours in Service.
Barr. Herb Gary Esq
Solicitor & Notary Public
BECKWORTH CHAMBERS UK
68 Doughty Street, London, WC1N 2LS UK.