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)
- "hundred thousand united state dollars" (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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "attorneys " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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: Glen Carthy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Oct 2019 13:00:34 +0200
Subject: CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS PROPOSAL
It is with trust and sincerity that I approach you for assistance to
transfer some funds into your bank account. Please do accept my apology
if my mail infringes on your ethics. My name is Glen Fred McCarthy, a
Private attorney based here in Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa.
Honestly, it will be my humble pleasure if we can work together.
I would like you to act as the next of kin to my deceased client Mr.
Adolf Merckle, a German who deposited $23,500,000.00 (Twenty-three
million five hundred thousand United State Dollars) with a Bank here in
Johannesburg. he committed Suicide on the 9th of January, 2009 without
any registered next of kin. his only son Mr. Ludwig Merckle was
informed about the funds and Several efforts were made to get him to
appear as the next of kine but he has not shown any interest he said his
father never wanted him to be involved in his investment in Africa.
I have received an official letter from the bank suggesting a likely
proceeding for confiscation of the Fund in line with existing laws by
the bank in which my client deposited the sum of $23.5 Million.
According to the Government Law here, at the expiration of 10 years, the
fund will revert to the ownership of the South African Government if
nobody applies to claim the fund.
My proposition to you is to present you to the bank as the Next of kin
to my late client so that the bank will pay this $23.5 Million to you as
his beneficiary so that we can share the amount on a mutually agreed
percentage of 60% for me 40% for you.
All legal documents to back up your claim will be provided by me. All I
require is your honest/cooperation to enable us to see this transaction
through. I will also guarantee you that this will be executed under a
legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law
here or in your country.
If you are interested in these transactions, Please do contact me so
that I can give you comprehensive details on how to proceed if on the
contrary you don't wish to partner with me on this please feel free to
destroy this message and i promise never to contact you any more.
Regards and God bless
Glen Fred McCarthy
Principal Attorney: Glen Carthy Attorneys and Associates
Direct Telephone: +27712744437