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:
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "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.
- 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.
- +447045734492 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Patrick Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 23 May 2012 14:14:40 -0400
Subject: Investment advice needed from you in Asia
Barr. P.O Williams.
DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBER:+44-704-5734492
Address: 33 St James's Square, London SW1Y 4JS.
You are being contacted today in respect of a proposition that will be financially rewarding to you and me. This may not be the most ideal form of introduction since we have not had the privilege of meeting each other before now; nevertheless, I implore you to go through the content of this mail carefully and the website stated below before making any decision.
I am Barrister Patrick O.Williams a Solicitor at law and attorney to Mr. Frederick Wooldridge, who recently lost his life to the earthquake in Haiti. Mr. Wooldridge was a citizen of both the United Kingdom and Australia. He was 41 years old at the time of his death, may his soul rest in peace Amen.
He made so much money in Iraq when he was appointed Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary of the UN Compensation Commission. I am contacting you to assist in repatriating the money left behind by my client before it will get confiscated, I and my late client have successful move the fund to a safe place very close to you In Asia before his sudden death through a diplomatic means by the help of a United Nation approved diplomat.
I seek your consent to present you as the legal recipient of the fund on behalf of my late client since he confide in me not to disclose any of this information to his family member. The money in question is the sum of US$65Million and it will be paid to you in cash, The funds will be split 50% both ways (for you and I) after removing 10% of the total sum for welfare homes base on the plan that my late client has in mind, if you accept to assist in this transaction, I have all necessary legal documents that can be used to back up any claim we may make. All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us seeing this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law in every part of the world. My intention is to invest my own share of the money in Asia base on your advice.
Please if you are genuinely interested in the transaction, you are here by required to send me your full name, Residential or Company address, Private Telephone, Mobile and Fax numbers where you can always be reach so that I can proceed in getting the Release Order document/consignment PIN Code in your name, which will enable the diplomat release the consignment where the total sum is to you in cash as the legal recipient.
I await your response urgently since we don't have much time left.
Thanks and God bless you.
Barr. P.O Williams.