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:
- "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)
- "barrister" (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: Barrister Edem Walter <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2012 13:37:21 -0500
Subject: GOOD DAY....
I am Edem Walter, an attorney at law. A deceased client of Mine, by name Mr. Andrew Parker from your country, who hereinafter shall be referred to as my client, whose life and that of his entire family were lapsed while on holidays in a holidays resort in Phuket Thailand on the 26th of December 2004 in the Tsunami natural disaster.
I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the money left behind by my client before it is confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this deposit valued at $ 6 Million dollars is lodged.
This bank has issued me a notice to contact the next of kin, or the Account will be confiscated because there is a government gazette/mandate/authorizing all banks to freeze or confiscate any account that has not been serviceable in a long period of time, this is geared towards capital flight for the economy.
My proposition to you is to seek your consent to present you as the Next-of-kin and beneficiary of my named client, so that the proceeds Of this account can be paid to you. This will be disbursed or shared in these percentages,60% to me and 40% to you.
All legal documents to back up your claim as my client's next-of-kin will be provided. What 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 any breach of the law.If this business proposition offends your moral values, do accept my apology but if not, then contact me at once to indicate your interest,by giving me urgently the following below:
1. Your full Name
2. Your Telephone Number
3. Your Contact Address.
4. Your Age and Occupation.
Your urgent response will be highly anticipated and appreciated.
Barrister Edem Walter