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:
- "the consignment" (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)
- "consignment " (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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister Patrick Benson" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 15:22:24 -0700
I am Barrister Patrick Benson from Ghana, I am a legal practitioner, a client of mine died and left behind the sum of Ten Million Five hundred thousand United State Dollars ($10,500,000.00) deposited in a security company, but unfortunately he did not specify his Heir (Next of Kin) before his sudden death.
All my efforts to trace his family members have proved abortive because he did not write a WILL prior to his death.
The Ghana inheritance Law permits any security company to confiscate the deceased's fund, incase the fund is left unclaimed for over a period of 19 months after the death of the owner. However, the security company has contacted me to provide the heir of my late client, so that they will release this consignment box contenting the funds to the person but i am yet to recommend anybody as the Heir. This is the reason why I have contacted you so that I will legally recommend you as the heir.
According to the Ghana Inheritance Law, it is the responsibility of the lawyer to specify the heir of the deceased and I am the personal attorney of the deceased. Therefore, I have the total right to recommend anybody as the heir and the security company will release the consignment box fund to such person.
I have all the legal documentations to complete this transaction successfully without any problems with the government in Ghana and in your country, this transaction is 100% risk free, I will guide and direct you on what to do at any given time and once the consignment is deliver to you I will travel to meet you in your country so that we share the funds in the proportion of 40% for you, 40% for me and 20% will be donated to Charitable Organizations.
This inheritance claims will be legally completed, all I need from you is your total cooperation and honesty.
If you are interested to work with me kindly forward below information:
Your Full Names:
Your Mobile or Cell Phone Numbers:
Your telephone (Office and Home) Numbers:
Your fax Number:
Your company name and address if any
I look forward to your prompt reply.
Barrister Patrick Benson
Do reply me with the following email for security reason and clarity of this transaction