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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "utmost 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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2011 20:38:22 +0800
Subject: Business Call !!!
I am Barr.Thomas Philips, a lawyer by profession. I am soliciting your involvement in a deal that will be of great mutual benefits between both of us. I have a late client (dead) who had the same surname (family name) as yours. My late client used to work with Shell Oil Exploration Company here in Malaysia; he was an influential wealthy businessman, Civil engineer and Gold Magnet.
On the 21st of April 2004, my client, his wife and their only child were involved in a car accident and later died of internal bleeding. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their live, (may their gentle souls rest in peace) Amen. Since then, I have made several inquiries to locate any of my client's extended family relatives but have proved unsuccessful. I came to know about you through an inquiry I was making in the Internet, and I found out that you shared the same surname with my late (dead) client.
Therefore, I am contacting you in order to assist in transferring the money and property left behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank.Your assistance is important and urgent because of the commercial banks where my late client had a domiciliary account valued for Nine Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only (US$9,500,000.00) has already issued me a notice to provide his Next of Kin or have the account confiscated within the next 30 days.
Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relative for over 4 years now, I hereby seek your consent to present you as the Next of Kin to my late client since you have the same family (last name), so that the US$9,500,000.00 can be paid to you for onward investment into any areas of business you deem viable for a minimum period of 5 years to enable me continue my search for his Next of Kin. Note that I shall prepare legal documentations that will enable you have 40% of the total sum, which amount to US$3,800,000.00; be also assured that this deal is 100% risk free.I guarantee that this transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. All I required is your honest co-operation and utmost CONFIDENTIALITY to enable us sees this business through.
Please, get in touch with me by telephone or fax to enable us discuss further about the details of this transaction.Send your reponse to my most private email address; firstname.lastname@example.org; PLEASE CALL MOST PRIVATE TELEPHONE NUMBER ON +601 462 63992.
Barr. Thomas Philips
Advocates & Solicitors
Business Call !!!