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:
- "because it still remains the fastest medium of communication" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million pounds" (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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "barr." (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: "CHARLES DONOVAN." (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2012 21:42:55 +0100
Subject: ATTN; C.E.O
I believe that success depends on the support of other people. The only hurdle between you and what you want to be is the support of others. Unexpected sources of help come from unpredictable quarters to the person who remain positive and enthusiastic. Therefore, I want to trust you even as I never saw you before, hoping that you will be trustworthy in this transaction. Trust is an important factor in any business development. Though, the internet has been greatly abused by bad fraudulent persons. I chose to reach you through it because it still remains the fastest medium of communication. However, this correspondence is unofficial and private, and it should be treated as such. I also guarantee you that this transaction is hitch free from all legal implication and it is not a scam.
I am barrister Charles Donovan, an attorney at law. A decease client of
mine, who hereinafter shall be referred to as my client, died as the
result of a heart-related condition on the 11 November 2001. His heart
condition was due to the death of all the members of his family in the
Gulf Air Flight Crashes in Persian Gulf Near Bahrain Aired August 23, 2000
- 2:50 p.m. ET as reported on:
I have contacted you to assist in distributing the money left behind by my
client before it is confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank
where this deposit valued at Ten Million Eight Hundred Thousands British
Pounds( GBP10.8 million Pounds) is lodged. This bank has issued me a
notice to contact the next of kin, or the account will be confiscated.
My proposition to you is to seek your consent to present you as the
next-of-kin and beneficiary of my late client, so that the proceeds of
this account can be paid to you. Then we can share the amount on a
mutually agreed-upon percentage. All legal documents to back up your claim
as my client's next-of-kin will be provided. All I require is your honest
cooperation to enable us see this transaction through.
This will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you
from many breach of the law. If this business proposition offends your
moral values, do accept my 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 at once to indicate your interest.