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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Barri William James <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2015 01:37:15 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Hello Beloved one,
Â Hello Beloved one,
Firstly, I must solicit your confidence in this transaction; this is
by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and top secret.
Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make any one
apprehensive and worried, but I am assuring you that all will be well
at the end of the day.
Let me start by first introducing myself properly to you. Though it
may surprise you receiving this letter from me, since there was no
previous correspondence between us. My name is Barrister William
James. A personal Attorney to Late Mr.Emmanuel William. My purpose of
contacting you is for you to help me secure the funds left behind by
my late client, to avoid it being confiscated or declared
unserviceable by the Bank Where this fund valued (Sixty Five Million
Two hundred thousand United States Dollars Only) deposited by my
client before his death.
This Bank has issued me a notice to contact the next of kin or the
account will be declared unserviceable and the fund diverted to the
Bank treasury, So far all my efforts to get a hold of someone related
to this man has proved abortive. Hence, I have contacted you. I am
actually asking for your consent to present you to the Bank as the
Next of Kin/beneficiary of my late client's fund, so that the proceeds
of this account can be paid to your account.
All the legal documentations to back up your claim as my client's Next
of Kin I shall provided them. All I require is your honest
co-operation to enable us achieve this transaction
I wish to point out that I want 20% of this money to be shared among
the charity Organizations, while the remaining 80% is shared equally
between us. This proposition is entirely risk free. I will use my
position as the clientâs attorney to guarantee the successful
execution of this transaction. If you are interested, please contact
me via with this line +229-61-673-911or
Email(email@example.com) upon your response, I shall then
provide you with more details and relevant documents that will help
you understand this transaction well
The intended transaction will be executed under a legitimate
arrangement that will protect you from any infraction of the law.
However, if this business proposition offends your moral ethics, do
accept my sincere apology.
If on the contrary you wish to achieve this goal with me, kindly get
back to me with your interest for further explanation
Barri. William James.