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: "Jeffery C. Mark Esq, Dynamic Law Chambers & Associates" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2011 22:17:39 +0100
Subject: YOUR WILL
>From the desk Jeffery C. Mark Esq, Dynamic Law Chambers & Associates
Spread Eagle Court,Scotland, UK.
Date: 21st June, 2011
On behalf of the Trustees and Executor of the Estate of Late Engr.Michael P. Anderson, I once again try to notify you as my earlier letter returned undelivered. However, I hereby attempt to reach you again by this same email address on the WILL prepared in your favour by the deceased person. I wish to notify you that late Engr. Michael P. Anderson made you a beneficiary to his WILL. He left the sum of Eight Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars (USD$8,500.000.00 ) to you in the codicil and last testament to his WILL.
This may sound strange and unbelievable to you, but it is real and true. Being a widely traveled man, he must have been in contact with you in the past or simply you were recommended to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wished you good. Engr. Michael P. Anderson until his death was a member of the Helicopter Society and the Institute of Electronic & Electrical Engineers. He had a very good heart and loved to give out.
His great philanthropy earned him numerous awards during his life time. Late Engr.Michael P. Anderson died on the 12th day of February,2011 at the age of 66 years without a family as he was an orphan, and his WILL is now ready for execution. According to him this money is to support your humanitarian activities and to help the poor and the needy in our society. Please if I reach you this time as I am hopeful, don't hesitate reporting back to me soon as possible to execute my obligation.
l shall affirm to you details regarding this obligation in your return mail.
Anticipating your reply for immediate execution.
Yours in Service,
Barrister Jeffery C. Mark
Dynamic Law Chambers & Associates
Spread Eagle Court,Scotland, UK.