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:
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- +447024027842 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barr.Mark Johnson" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 09:01:17 +0300
Subject: Re- Estate Beneficiary
Re- Estate Beneficiary
Sequel to your non response of our earlier letter to you on behalf of the Trustees
and Executors of the Estate of our late client We wish to notify you that you have
been subscribed as the beneficiary to the total sum of
£9,900.000.00 GBP (Nine million Nine Hundred thousand British Pounds) representing
the pecuniary estate of the said deceased.He died on 9th January 2005 at the age of
68.He was buried on the 3rd of February.
We reckoned that you can receive this fund; as you are qualified via your name
All the legal papers will be processed upon your response. In your acceptance of
this deal, we request that you kindly forward any proof of identity of yours, your
current telephone and fax numbers and forwarding address to enable us file necessary
documents at Probate Registry, for the release of this sum of money to you.
My direct Phone number: Tel:+44-702-402-7842