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:
- "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. )
- "huge deposit" (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)
- "the consignment" (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)
- "consignment " (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)
- "million united states 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)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Grillo Anderson <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 08:41:13 +0000
Subject: MY GREETINGS TO YOU WITH IMPORTANT & URGENT INFORMATION.
Greetings to you,With
warm heart I offer my friendship,and greetings,and I hope this message
meets you in good time.However strange or surprising this contact might
seem to you as we have not met personally or had any dealings in the
past,I humbly ask that you take due consideration of its importance and
the immense benefit it will be to you. After careful
consideration,I resolved to contact your assistance in this manner.I
duly apologize for your most needed infringing on your privacy.I
am Grillo Anderson, a solicitor at law from United Kingdom, I am the
personal attorney/sole executor to a deceased client of my chambers
who shares a similar surname with you and a nationality of your
Country, his wife and their three children were involved in a car
accident and all occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their
do sincerely sympathize the death of my client but think it is
unprofitable for his funds to be submitted to the government of this
country or some financial institution. My aim was to retrieve these
funds and let it be claimed by the deceased family Lineage, etc. Since
then I have made several inquiries to your Embassy to locate any of my
client's extended family and relatives, this has also proved
unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to
trace his relatives over the internet, to locate any member of his but
of no available. On this note I decided to search for a credible person
finding that you bear a similar last name, I was urged
to contact you, that I may, with your consent, present you to the
"Trustee" as my late client's family member so as to enable you put up a
claim to the Finance House in that capacity as a next of kin of my
business proposal is confidential and I request that it be treated as
such. It is specifically directed to you and I must solicit your
Confidentiality on it. I assure you that I am contacting you in good
faith and this proposal will be of mutual benefit to us but do not take
undue advantage of the trust I have bestowed in you.I
find this possible for the fuller reasons that you are of the same
nationality and you bear a similar last name with my late client making
it a lot easier for you to put up a claim in that capacity. I have
contacted you to assist me in repatriating the money left behind by my
late client before they got confiscated or declared
unserviceable by the Finance House where these huge deposits were
lodged.Particularly, the Finance
House where the deceased had a consignment valued about Sixty Million
United States Dollars only ($60,000.000.00) they have issued me a notice
to provide the next-of- kin or have the consignment confiscated as an
abandoned funds within the next 21 official working days.I
seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased so
that the proceeds of this Consignment/funds valued about Sixty Million
United States Dollars only ($60,000.000.00) can be paid to you and then
you and I can share the money, 50% to me and 50% for you. I will work
out all the necessary legal documents that can be used to back up this
claim, 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.If this proposal is acceptable by you, kindly fill the below information in your reply immediately.Full name: ________________Resident address: ____________Mobile phone number: ________Telephone number: __________Private email: ______________Occupation: ____________________Marital status:_______________Age: _______________________I wait to hear from you ASAP.Thanks for your understanding and
anticipated co-operation.Yours sincerely,Barr. Grillo Anderson