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:
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447024074751 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "BARR. JAMES RUFF QC." (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 23:25:57 -0700
Subject: GREETINGS 18-8-2011
This is a private and confidential email am sending toyou and I request that it be treated as such. I wish to solicit your Confidentiality and assistance , while assure you that I am contacting you in good faith,this proposal would of mutual benefit. to you.I am James Ruff, a Attorney at law. I am the personal Attorney to the late Mr. Allan Gonzalez who was my client had worked as an independent oil magnate in my country, and died in automobile crash along with his immediate family in East London on the 5Th of November 2006.
My late client long before his death had placed a deposit of Five Million Six Hundred Thousand British Pounds Sterling only? (5.9 million) with a Securities and investment company. After the death of my client, the finance company contacted me, as his attorney to notify me of the maturity of the investment and that I provide his Next of kin , who legally recognized as the right person or persons to inherit such fund.Since the death of my client, I have tried to locate any of his relative(s) through the embassy all such efforts have been to no avail.The board of directors of the company just reached a resolution that I MUST provide a next of kin for the payment of this money within the next 15 official working days or forfeit the money as an abandoned funds.
I have reasoned that the best thing to do, would be to legal present a next of kin of my deceased client. This is legally possible and would be done in accordance with the laws of the land. On this note I decided to search for and present somebody who would stand in as his next of kin. I am seeking your consent, to adopt you as my late client's relative and with this in mind,would put up a claim for the dormant fund. I have all vital documents that would confer on you the legal rights to make this claim and would make them available to you soon as we reach a compromise to work on it together.
I do sincerely sympathize the death of my client but think it is unprofitable for his funds to be confiscated by government or some financial institution.I had worked relentlessly with my late client seeing him make much of the money, it would be unreasonable to see other benefit from the fund to my exclusion.Not been able to locate his relatives even makes matter worse.When the fund is released in your favour we both would give to share it in the following ratio,40% to you and 60% to me.Can I trust you on this? I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of law. I will not fail to bring to your notice that this proposal is hitch-free and that you should not entertain any fear(s).
That we successfully start and conclude the transaction requires confidentiality. Please get in touch with me by my alternative email (email@example.com).The following is my telephone: +44 702 407 4751.I will appreciate you send me yours.I hoping that would not take undue advantage of the trust I have reposed in disclosing the transaction and the details here.
James Ruff QC.
Address: Euston Road NW1 Camden