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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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: "Barr.Enriques" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 2015 11:10:05 +0200
Subject: Ref: RS/218-22/4C
Barrister: Martin Enrique
This is my second letter to you, once more my name is Barrister Martin Enrique I am a personal attorney to my late client Mr.willie who died few years ago, May his gentle soul rest in peace, Before his death, he deposited some huge amount with a bank here in Spain.The bank is anticipating someone with the same surname (last name) specifically referred from my office as the next of kin.
All efforts to get his family relatives have not been successful. I came across your contact information and decided to ask for your cooperation to present you to the bank as his next of kin so that the money will be paid to you for our sharing on which will be negotiated upon your agreement, If you are interested, please reply me and note that you are the only person i have contacted.
Please send your reply only to this email:email@example.com
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.