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:
- "i will advice you " (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- +447012905114 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister Michael Gavin" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2013 15:22:35 -0000
Subject: YOUR OVERDUE INHERITANCE/ FUND $
I have been expecting an email from you regarding the collection of your inherited estate documents deposited with the bank, under my care.
Please understand that instructions issued to my office by your late relative is to contact and inform you that her property located in the State of Arizona has been willed to you according to her final Will documents and that the ORIGINAL CLAIM documents be handed over to you. I am also told by your late relative that you already have with you the photocopies of the documents.
I need to know if you have hired any Realtor/Mortgage company as your representative in handling the sales of the building. As at 2009 when me and your late relative visited the building, the estimated value was between $2.8 Million - $3 Million.
It is important for you to know that the inheritance documents are still with the deposits house here in London where your late relative made the deposit of those documents for safe keeping.
I will advice you send your response ASAP ,to enable me ascertain if you are aware about this Mortgage/realtor demands for the handling of your inheritance documents as kept with the deposits company on your behalf under my care as her Attorney. To the best of my knowledge this property as bequeathed to you by your late relative is still abandoned with overgrown bushes.
Keen Law Associates.