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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Lagene Lagene <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Lagene Lagene <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 12:46:22 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Your Online Payment Transfer 7.5 Million euros
Â Attention: Owner of this email
My name are, Advocate.John Koffi, a lawyer in Republic of Benin Republic. Mr.Robert , was a gold merchant and also my client before his death which was a result of lung cancer.
Now I want to present you as the next of kin, to my late client Bank management so that the money left behind by my late client will immediately transfer to your account through my assistance by presenting you to the bank.
The money value of 7.5 Million euros (Seven million five hundred thousand European currency) was deposited in a bank here by my late client, before his Death on 23 November2010.Please mail me back on this my private email address
( email@example.com ) for more explanation and details.
Barrister John Koffi