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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "ADALFREDDO DAREK & CO" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2012 08:44:48 -0000
Subject: Regarding A Deposit Box In Your Name
ADALFREDDO DAREK & CO
FROM THE DESK OF
BARRISTER ADALFREDDO DAREK
86 Fleet Street
London, E15 2NF
I am the sole executor and trustee of the estate of a testator and I hereby attempt to reach you again by this same email address stated on the TRUST as my previous notification to you was returned undelivered.Please if I reach you this time as I am hopeful, endeavour to get back to me.I have information concerning the availability of a safe deposit box with a bank which has been listed in your name.The testator made you the beneficiary of the deposit box which contains 375,000GBP as a secret trust.
My duty is to provide legal assistance and claims administration for transfer of custody of the funds to you as the sole and legal beneficiary.Upon your response to this email,I shall provide you with further information on the release of the funds to you .I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.
Barrister Adalfreddo Darek