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:
- "million pounds" (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)
- "need for confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "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.
- +447005930945 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Jeff Bryan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2010 17:31:11 +0100
Subject: Your Payment Notification::--
In regards to: My late Clients Asset Bequest to You.
My name is Jeff Bryan Jr.; the Chief Solicitor in Bryan Group & Chambers Private legal Soliciting and Financial Consulting
Firm.". Currently my firm is carrying out a standard process financial review of year 2010, in the cause of this exercise; I have
come across our late client's file that bears an agreement form he signed with an Investment Company placing you as the
beneficiary in the next of kin column.
This file contains certificate for a convertible bond Deposit he made with an Investment Bank here in UK. This Bonded
Investment has a surface value of 25Million Pounds that has long matured for payment with its accrued interest but for his absence has not
be paid by the Investment Company who has confessed that he /anyone has not come for claims when I confronted them in request for reasons
this payment has not been made.
It is pertinent you note that; my client died intestate in Jan 2007, since this is his personal Investment Plan, you have
legally been nominated as the only successor in title over this his investments with the Company. This is why it is vital at all times
to specify next of Kin in all financial transactions that require forms, application or agreement.
Being the legal executor of this Financial Review and Auditing, I will see to the wish of my late client and process to
place you in a position that will instruct the Investment firm to release the deposit to you as the beneficiary of this Inheritance, due
to the high priority surrounding this bequest in terms of its value. It is only fair that the Probate law which provides uncertainty of
the original owner absence be transferred to his kin as the law provides.
You shall be nominated as the next of kin and through my office; I will have them release the deposit to you by carrying
out the necessary legal procedures to transfer ownership of Inheritance to you. I assure you that the deposit and release of these
Funds to you will be done within 5 bank working days.
You have to be aware of the need for confidentiality in this letter, owing to the fact that Inheritance information are
highly secured to avoid wrong claimant or third party interest. Please do not be vindictive and destructive because of the privilege and Joy
to have this information. It is pertinent that I protect this Asset and any information surrounding this claim till it gets
to you completely. So avoid leakage of this message to any third party or the wrong person, since fortune has planted you
into the center of relevance in life.
A convenient International money transfer medium that will protect you from breach of law will be initiated in line with
Probate validation of ownership transfer to you. Please send me your contact details, number and address in your response
to this letter as I expect that you keep the contents of this mail private and respect the integrity of the information revealed to you herein.
Mr. Jeff Bryan Jr.
Chief Legal Officer
The Bryan Chambers Int'l
Fax #: +44 7005-930-945
Fax Number: +44 7005-921-545