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:
- "affidavit of claim" (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. )
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Brenda Hoffman" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 09:27:06 -0000
Subject: Re: This is sequel to your non-response of my earlier letter to you
Legal Practitioner, Solicitors & Advocates.
Marlin Place, Milton Road , Cambridge
This is sequel to your non-response of my earlier letter to you. On behalf of the Trustees and Executors to the Will of your late relatives here in London . I wish to notify you that you were listed as a beneficiary to the bequest of the sum in the codicil and last testament of the deceased. My client was a former managing director and pioneer staff of a big construction company here in United Kingdom . He was a very dedicated Christian and a great philanthropist during his life time.
My aim is to provide your name as the relatives to my late client to inherit the (£15Million) deposited with Barclay`s bank here in London . I will prepare Certificates of will and affidavit of claim with your name and set-up an application of claim to the bank, and all the papers/documents will be processed in your name. I request that you kindly forward to me your letter of acceptance, to enable us file necessary documents to high court probate division for the release of this sum of money. Please feel very free in sending your details as stated below:
(1). Full names
(2). contact address
(4). Cell phone