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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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 next of kin scam.
- 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.
- +447024069682 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister Louis Lambert" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2009 02:20:39 +0800
Subject: Legitimate Tranaction!!!
This is a personal email directed to you and I request that it be treated as
such. I must solicit your Confidentiality and assure you that I am contacting
you in good faith and this proposal will be of mutual benefit. I am Louis
Lambert, a solicitor at law. I am the personal attorney/sole executor to the
late Mr. Mark Underwood Jr.hereinafter referred to as my client who worked as
an independent oil magnate in my country, who died in a car crash with his
immediate family in East London on the 5Th of November 2001.
Since the death of my client, I have written several letters to the embassy
with 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 finance company about my fruitless effort in
locating my late client close relative or His next of kin.
The board of directors of the company just adopted a resolution and I was
mandated to provide his next of kin for the payment of this money within the
next 15 official working days or forfeit the money as an abandoned funds. The
company had planned to invoke the abandoned property decree of the company 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.
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 you the legal right to make this claim and would
make them available to you so that the proceeds of this bank account valued
at £9.8million 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 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 8years now
I seek your consent to present you 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 tells me
to contact you. Can I trust you on this? 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 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
Like I said, I require only a solemn confidentiality on this. Please get in
touch with me by my alternative email: Barr_llouis2009@hotmail.com for
better confidentiality and send to me your telephone and fax numbers to
enable us discuss further on this transaction. My contact number is +44 702
4069 682 +44 702 4010 988. If this proposal is acceptable by you, do not take
undue advantage of the trust I have bestowed in you, Thanks for your
Barrister Louis Lambert
When calling you dial your country calling code which I think is 011+my
number (+44 702 4069 682) You can also confirm the code from your service