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:
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "chambers" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister Muahmed Afeez" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2011 12:50:36 +0800
MUAHMED AFEEZ ASSOCIATES SDN BHD
My name is Mr. Muahmed Afeez, an attorney at law chambers of Muahmed Afeez Associates Sdn Bhd in Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia .
A deceased client of mine whose name is the same last name with you, who herein after shall be referred to as my client, died together with his family on December 26 -2004 as a result of Tsunami Disaster . I am contacting you because you have the same surname as my deceased client and i felt that you could help me in the distribution of funding that were left in my deceased client's bank account. This funding is closed to be declared UN-serviceable by the bank as there were no indicated next of kin or next of beneficiary of the funding in the bank account.
The total amount of cash in the bank account of my deceased client is US$3.7 Million (Three Million Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollar) only. The bank had issued to me a notification to contact the next of kin of my deceased client or account will be confiscated.
My proposition to you is to seek your consent, and to present your kind self as the next-of-kin and beneficiary of my deceased client, since you have the same last name with him. This means that the proceeds of his bank account would be paid to you as his next of kin or the legitimate beneficiary. We would share the percentage on a mutually agreed-upon 60% for me and 40% to your kind self.
All the legal documents to back up the claim as my client's next-of-kin would be provided by me. This will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that would protect you from any breach of the law.
If this business proposition offends your moral and ethic values, do accept my sincere apology. I must use this opportunity to implore you to exercise the utmost indulgence to keep this matter extraordinary confidential, whatever your decision, while I await your prompt response. Please contact me, if you're interested by replying the mail.
Barrister Muahmed Afeez