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 united states 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 free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "BARRISTER RAUL CRESPO" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 06:36:12 +0100
Subject: Attention Sir/Madam
BARRISTER RAUL CRESPO, ESQ.
Apartado 23 Avenida Mediterr
No 3, 1 E-03725 - TEULADA-MORAIRA (Alicante)
Dear Attention Sir/Madam,
Firstly, I must solicit your confidence in this transaction; this is by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential. Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and worried, but I am assuring you that all will be well at the end of the day.
Let me start by first introducing myself properly to you. It may surprise you receiving this letter from me, since there was no previous correspondence between us. My name is Dr/Barrister Raul Crespo, a personal Attorney to Late MR. FRED SANCHEZ.
Since then all my several enquiries here to locate any of my clients extended relatives, has proved unsuccessfull.Thus I decided to search with his name through the GLOBAL public records, to locate any member of his extended family.I know you may not be biologically related to him but you can help,it is an advantage.
Before the catastrophe that claimed his life,he deposited US$270 Million usd (Two Hundred And Seventy Million United States Dollars) with a Bank.
The Bank has mandated me to present a member of his family (next of kin/inheritor) to make claim or the account will be declared unserviceable and the fund diverted to the Bank Treasury as unclaimed. With regards to this, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased so that the fund would be released to you and the content be further disbursed.I wish to point out that I want 20% of this money to be shared among the Charity Organizations, while the remaining 80% is shared equally between us..
All I require of you is your honest co-operation to enable us see this transaction through. I guarantee that this transaction would be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.You can get across to me via my office email,private email, for further clarification. Do get back to me as well even when you are not willing to collaborate with me so as to further my search for another partner.
Reply me back on this Email: email@example.com
Yours in Service,
Barrister Raul Crespo, ESQ