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)
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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 (Linuxmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Project Appraisal." (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2011 16:45:42 +0800
Subject: Project Appraisal.
My names are Barrister Luis De Carlos a personal Attorney to Late Mrs. Tomiko Naomi,I got your contact via the
public records international business directory while searching for a trusted person who i can present to the
Finance and Security Services as next of kin of my late client Funds, she deposited the funds in One
Trunk Vault/Diplomatic Personal Treasure with a Finance and Security Services here in Spain before
she and her family died in Tsunami catastrophe, which occurred in December 2004.
As her personal Attorney/Adviser,the Finance and security Services officially notified and instructed me to present
and forward particulars of my client's next of kin within the next 18 official working days to make Claims of her
deposit orelse it will be declared unserviceable and the fund will be diverted to the government coffers account as
unclaimed bill.So far all my efforts to get a hold of someone related to this woman has proved abortive.
I am actually asking for your consent to present you to the Finance and Security Services as the Next of
Kin/beneficiary of my late client's fund;so that the proceeds of her deposit 11.8 Million Euros can be release
to your account.
All the legal documentations to back up your claim as my client's next of Kin, I shall provide. All I require is your
honest cooperation to enable us achieve this transaction.I wish to point out that I want 20% of this money to be
shared among charity Organizations, while the remaining 80% is shared equally between us. This transaction is
entirely risk free and i have determined to work this deal out if we can do business.
Upon your response send your full name and contact telephone numbers via ; Tel; + 34 603 209 405
( email@example.com ) or ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Thank you for your time and attention.
Luis De Carlos, Esq.
Attorney At Law.