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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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: "BARR. DAVID SMITH" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 05:07:46 -0700
Subject: THIS IS MY THIRD AND FINAL MAIL..
FROM THE DESK OF DAVID SMITH
On behalf of the Trustees and Executor of the estate of Late Michael Gambone and immigrant who was a gas consultant here in UK, who happens to be one of our very good clients. He died with his wife(Deborah Gambone)on board the Swissair Flight 111 , which crashed into the Atlantic off Nova Scotia in september 2nd 1998.
I once again try to notify you as my earlier letter was returned undelivered. I wish to notify you that late Late Michael Gambone made you a beneficiary to his WILL. He left the sum of Ten Million British Pound Sterling (10M GBP) to you in the Codicil and last testament to his WILL.
This may sound strange and unbelievable to you, but it is real and true. Being a widely traveled man, he must have been in contact with you in the past or simply you were nominated to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wished you good. According to him this money is to support your humanitarian activities and to help the poor and the needy in our society. Please if I reach you as I am hopeful, endeavor to get back to me as soon as possible to enable us obtain all the neccesary funds release document so remittance can take place.
I await your prompt response.
Yours in Service,
BARRISTER DAVID SMITH ESQ.
PARTNERS: Barrister Darina Gowen.Esq, Gemma Phillpott, Mr. John Marvey Esq