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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister Tony Walker" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2012 15:20:13 +0700 (WIT)
Subject: Your Attention Needed
For Confidence My Dear,
Please consider to help me relocate this USD $20.5M for establishing
an industry in your country. This fund was deposited in our Bank by
Mrs. Nina Wang from Hong Kong who died of cancer on April 3rd 2007
without a heir.
A routine notification was sent to her forwarding E-mail address but
without responses. She did not declare her next of kin in the bank
official papers including her real home contacts.
This money has been floating and if I do not remit it out urgently it
will be confiscated by the government as unclaimed fund. You will be
compensated with 30% for your collaboration to receive this fund.
Click here: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/04/04/news/obits.php
I will give you all vital information and clarification so that you
will contact the paying Bank for the release of the money into your
account as next of kin to the deceased depositor.
As one of the bank officials, I will play a role to make sure that the
fund will be released to you.
Kindly respond to my personal and alternative email address :
Barrister Tony Walker esq.