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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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)
- "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. )
- "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: "Joe Cooper" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2012 13:00:31 -0700
Subject: ********** SUPERVISED OFFER- CAN YOU CLAIM THE NEXT OF KIN ? ????
>From Barrister Joe Cooper
La Sagrada Familia Calle Mallorca,
601 08713 Barcelona
Attn: Dear Friend,
I am Barrister Joe Cooper a solicitor at law. I am the personal attorney to late Mr. JACK a national of your country, who was an official contractor (category D) with REPSOL YPF, SPAIN (RY) an oil firm in Spain. Here in after shall be referred to as my client. On the 11th of March 2010, my client, his wife and their two only sons were involved in a car accident on holiday trip along Las Palmas express way. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives. Since then I have made several enquiries and presentations to locate any of my client's extended relatives, this has also proved abortive. It is after these several unsuccessful attempts to locate any member of his family failed that I decided to contact you since coincidentally you have your last name believing that you can invariably be of help in this situation to stands as the next of kin to this my client. I am contacting you to assist in repatriating the money and property left behind by my client before the
y get confiscated or declared uns
Already, the finance company where the deceased had an account valued at about ?1 Million has issued me a notice/ultimatum to provide the next of kin or have the account confiscated within the next one Month. Since It has been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 2 years now, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased, so that the proceeds of this account valued at ?1 Million can be paid to your account and there after we can share the fund (money) in the ratio of 7:3. That is, I will have 70% of the proceed while you have 30% for your assistance. I have all necessary legal documents that can be used to back up any claim we may make. All I require is your honest co-operation to enable us see this transaction through .I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.
Please get in touch with me by my email and send to me your telephone and fax numbers to enable us discuss further about this transaction.
Barrister Joe Cooper