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)
- "hundred thousand great british 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)
- "my direct telephone number" (a "direct line" in a scam usually means an untraceable mobile phone number used by a scammer in an internet cafe, a redirection service number that forwards to a mobile or a free voicemailbox in a different country.)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister. Peterson Martins" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2011 12:47:44 -0500
Subject: Re: Immediate Attention Needed From You..Reply.
No:2 Charles Street
I come to you with hope of stopping my endless search for someone honest to confide in. I am Mr. Peterson H.Martins an attorney of law with the Mayfair Chambers in London-Uk, I write you for the purpose of a business transaction which I believe might interest you. My client Errol Tahaparij who is a German but Nationalized in Netherland (Holland) and did several business transactions over here in the Uk with different Oil and Gas company based on the nature of his job as a Drilling Contractor he died in August 19th 2005 as a result of heart failure.
Two years before his death, he lost his wife to cancer, but was left with (Thirteen Million, Five Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds) of his deceased wife's life insurance as the next of kin. Within two years before my client's death, he had deposited the said amount in an offshore account with a finance company for safe keeping.
Late Errol deposited this money in total of (Thirteen Million, Five Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds) with the company on August 20th 2006 as a fixed deposit for a period of five years and since I am his attorney and also involved in the signing of some relevant documents as his witness in the whole transaction process, the finance company has reached me due to their several unsuccessful attempt to reach Mr.Errol Tahaparij,who unknown to them is dead.
I require strict confidence and confidentiality from you to work with me in this business transaction, so reply back by supplying the following information's or call me on my direct telephone for more details striclty on my direct telephone number +448715038355.
Kindly Provide the information bellow for immediate processing of an application to the bank were the funds is been desposited.
1)YOUR FULL NAME.
3)YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER.
Barrister. Peterson Martins.