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:
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- +447045726644 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "MARTIN" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2009 09:57:57 -0700
I wish to notify you that you were listed as a beneficiary to the total sum of usd$2m United States Dollars)in the codicil and last testament of the deceased.
Until his death he was a major share holder in big companies which include textile and construction companies.He was a very great philanthropist during his life time.He died on 29th January 2006 at the age of 68.He was buried on the 3rd of February.Even though he was a foreigner living and working here he requested before his death that he be buried here in his words,"I regard here as My home and the people as my people"We therefore reckoned that you can receive
this funds being listed as the beneficiary of the fund.
All the legal paperwork will be processed on your response.In your acceptance of this offer,I request that you kindly forward your current telephone and fax numbers and address.
Barrister Martin Reeves Esq.
London-uk Tel:+44 704 572 6644