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)
- "million us 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)
- "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.
- +447045771973 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barr Dominic Suleman Esq" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 20:33:57 -0400
Subject: Dear Next Of Kin
FROM THE DESK OF
DOMINIC SULEMAN ESQ
23 NORTH LYNN INDUSTRIAL ESTATE,
ESSEX, LONDON Uk.
I am Barrister Dominic Suleman Esq, I am contacting you concerning
a deceased client of mine and an investment he placed under a Financial & Security Firm years ago. I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail confidential and respect the integrity of the information you come by as a result of this mail.
I am contacting you independently of my investigation and no one is informed of this communication. I would like to intimate you with certain facts that I believe would be of interest to you. In the year 2002, the financial insitution contacted me on this matter,for me to porovide the next of kin to my late client to avoid his funds being confiscated.
My Client Mr Frederick M. Wong and his wife died aboard Egypt Air Flight 990 which crashed in the Atlantic Ocean on October 31 1999. You can View this page for further information
The Security Firm will by the end of this financial year broadcast a request for statements of claim to Bank, failing to receive viable claims they will most probably revert the deposit back to Bank. This will result in the money entering the Bank accounting system and the portfolio will be out of my hands and out of the private banking division. This will not happen if I have my way.
My proposal: I now seek your permission to present you as a next of kin to the deceased, as all documentations will be carefully worked out making you the beneficiary to the funds US$38,000 000 00 (Thirty Eight Million Us Dollars); I am prepared to place you in a position to instruct The security Firm to release the deposit to you as the closest surviving relation. Upon receipt of the deposit, I am prepared to share the money with you. That is: I will simply nominate you as the next of kin and have them release the deposit to you. We share the proceeds 60/40.I would have gone ahead to ask that the funds be released to me, but that would have drawn a straight line to me and my involvement in claiming the deposit.
I ask that if you find no interest in this project that you should discard this mail. I ask that you do not be vindictive and destructive. If my offer is of no appeal to you, delete this message and forget I ever contacted you. Do not destroy my career if you do not approve of my proposal. this may be hard for you to understand, but the dynamics of my industry dictates that I make this move. Such opportunities only comes once' way once in a lifetime. I cannot let
this chance pass me by, for once I find myself in total control of my destiny. These chances wont pass me by. I ask that you do not destroy my chance, if you will not work with me let me know and let me move on with my life but do not destroy me. I am a family man and this is an opportunity to provide them with fortunes. There is a reward for this project and it is a task well worth undertaking.
Please, again, note that I am a family man, I have a wife and children. I send you this mail not without a measure of fear but I know within me that nothing ventured is nothing gained and that success and riches never come easy or on a platter of gold. This is the one truth I have learned from philosophy.
Please contact me on my private secure phone number +447045771973
I await your response.
Dominic Suleman Esq