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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million dollars" (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)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister Alex" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 16:54:06 +0100
Goodday to you, bearing in mind the nature of the content of this letter coming from a person without any referral, I apologize for any inconvenience, but please read and objectively consider if we can work this together.
I am Alex Keong, an attorney at law from Malaysia. A deceased client of mine who died as a result of high blood pressure (H.B.P) on the 11th March 2009, because he lost his wife and the only daughter in the 2004 tsunamis natural disaster while on their holiday in Aceh, Indonesia.
I have contacted you to assist me in transferring the money left behind by my client before it is confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank when this deposit valued at $4.5million dollars is lodged. This bank has issued me a notice to contact the next of kin, or the fund will be transferred into the federal government reserve.
My proposition to you is to seek your consent to present you as the next-of-kin and beneficiary to this fund that was deposited in a bank here in my country by my late client, 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 the transaction through.
This will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any 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. I will like you to acknowledge the receipt of this e-mail as soon as possible via email address. this transaction will be treated private with absolute confidentiality and sincerity.
I look forward to your quick reply.
Barr. Alex Keong