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)
- "huge deposit" (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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "high court" (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: "Barrister Edward White" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 02:46:30 +0100
Subject: Barrister Edward White it is a proposal from United kingdon please read
Barrister Edward White
EW & Associates
222 Strand, London ,
My name is Edward White Esq, a barrister at law base in the United Kingdom . I am the Personal Attorney to Mr. Mark Andreoni a National of the United States of America , who lived in the United Kingdom for about twenty years, and whom herein after shall be referred to as my client. In April 2008. My client and his entire family, were involved in a fatal car accident and all occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost there lives living behind nobody as next of kin to his entitlements. Hence this meassge to you.
I am contacting you to assist me in repatriating his properties especially,the money he left behind before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the banks in Europe where this huge deposits were lodged. Particularly, one of the banks in Madrid Spain where my client had an account valued at about 27.8 million Euros has issued me a notice to provide the Next of kin, or have the account confiscated.
I am seeking your consent therefore, to present you as the Next of Kin of the deceased so that the proceeds of this account valued at 27.8 million Euros can be paid to you, as my clients Next of Kin and beneficiary to his entitlements, and then we can share the amount on a mutual agreed percentage.
All legal documents to back up your claim as the deceased Next of Kin, will be provided by me to you as I shall be expected to process a Letter of Administration from the British Probate High Court to the bank in Spain which will authourize you to receive
the funds as the rightful beneficiary to this claim. All I require is your honest co-operation to enable us see this deal through.
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the laws of both your country and mine. Please get in touch with me, with your personal details as stated below to enable me comenmce the legal documentation of your WILL (Letter of Administration) at the probate High Court here in the UK on your behalf.
1. Your full name and address
2. Your private telephone number for communication
3. Your age, occupation and position in your office
4. Your scan passport or driver's licence for identification
Your earliest response to this letter will be highly appreciated.
Barrister Edward White