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.)
- 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.
- +447031919726 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister Philip Moor" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2008 12:23:23 +0200
I am Barrister Philip Moor, Attorney at law. A decease client of
mine by the name Late Mr. Christian Eich, Engineer who ran carmaker
BMW'S museum, who died with his wife and two children and his wife's
parents were also among the victims of plane crash of Monday, 31 July,
2000, 13:22 GMT 14:22 UK.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/world/europe/859479.stm
I am contacting you to assist in repatriating the money left behind my
client before it is confiscated, or declared unserviceable by the bank
where this deposit value at (US29, 000, 000.00$) is lodged. This bank
has issued me a noticed to contact the next of kin or the account will
My proposition to you is to seek your consent to present you as the
next of kin/beneficiary of my late client. So that the proceeds of
this account can be paid to you, then we can share the amount on a
mutual agreement .
Please, do accept
1. Full Name :
2. Address (Inclusive City, State and Zip code)
3. Telephone no :
Please reply through my direct email address(firstname.lastname@example.org)
if you are interested to be a partner in this transaction.
Barrister Philip D. Moor