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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "utmost confidentiality" (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.)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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.
- +447087694932 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister Richard Duke" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:32:37 +0530
Subject: Mutual business request!!!
BARRISTER RICHARD DUKE (ESQ.)
(SOLICITOR & ATTORNEY)
LONDON UNITED KINGDOM
DEAR MY WORTHY FELLOW,
PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL
I KNOW YOU WILL BE FLABBERGASTED TO RECEIVE THIS MASSAGE, PLEASE DO PLEASE JUDGE IT AS A REQUEST FROM AN UPRIGHT ATTORNEY WHO IS IN SERIOUS NEED OF YOUR SUPPORT. I HAD TO BRING BEFORE YOU THIS PROPOSAL BECAUSE I EARNESTLY HOPE YOU WILL BE UNSWERVING TO ASSIST ME.
MY NAME IS AS ABOVE STATED. A LEGAL PRACTITIONER AND PERSONAL ATTORNEY TO MR. ROLAND LAKE, A NATIONAL OF YOUR COUNTRY, AND A PRIVATE INVESTOR WITH FRANK HOWARD ALLEN REALTORS LONDON. HEREIN AFTER SHALL BE REFERRED TO AS MY CLIENT. ON THE TUESDAY 21ST JUNE 2011, MY CLIENT AND HIS FAMILY WERE INVOLVED IN A PLANE CRASH IN RUSSIA WHILE ON VACATION. THE TU-134 PLANE, BELONGING TO RUSSIA AIR AIRLINE, WAS EN ROUTE FROM MOSCOW TO PETROZAVODSK. ALL OCCUPANTS OF THE PLANE UNFORTUNATELY LOST THEIR LIVES EXCLUDING 6 PEOPLE, AN AIR HOSTESS AND A 10 YEAR OLD BOY. YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT THE PLANE CRASH BY CLICKING THIS LINK: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/jun/21/russia-plane-crash-kills-several
SINCE THEN I HAVE MADE SEVERAL INQUIRIES AT THE EMBASSY HERE TO LOCATE ANY OF MY CLIENT'S EXTENDED RELATIVES, BUT ALL TO NO AVAIL. AFTER THIS SEVERAL UNSUCCESSFUL EFFORTS, I LASTLY GOT YOUR CONTACT/EMAIL FROM AN INTERNATIONAL ONLINE DIRECTORY THROUGH A COUNSELOR WHO WORKS IN THE CONSULATE DEPARTMENT. BE AWARE THAT MY LATE CLIENT MADE A DEPOSIT OF FUNDS VALUED AT TEN MILLION AND FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLAR (USD$:10,500,000.00) IN A COMMERCIAL BANK HERE AND THE SAID BANK HAS ISSUED ME A NOTICE TO AUTHORIZE AND GRANT THE NEXT OF KIN/BENEFICIARY OF THIS FUNDS OR HAVE THE ACCOUNT CONFISCATED WITHIN THE NEXT FOURTEEN OFFICIAL WORKING DAYS.
SINCE I HAVE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL IN FINDING THE EXTENDED RELATIVES OF MY LATE CLIENT FOR OVER TWO YEARS NOW, I AM HEREBY CONTACTING AND JUSTIFIABLY SEEKING YOUR CONSENT TO PRESENT YOU AS THE NEXT OF KIN/BENEFICIARY OF THIS FUNDS, AS YOU ARE FROM THE SAME COUNTRY WITH MY LATE CLIENT, SO THAT THE PROCEEDS OF THIS ACCOUNT CAN BE PAID/TRANSFERRED TO YOU IN A SMOOTH AND LEGAL ORDER.
ALREADY I HAVE SET MODALITIES TO ACHIEVE MY AIM OF APPOINTING YOU AS THE BONAFIDE BENEFICIARY AS WELL AS TRANSFERRING THESE FUNDS INTO YOUR DESIGNATED BANK ACCOUNT IN YOUR COUNTRY. I HAVE ALL REQUIRED INFORMATION AND LEGAL STRENGTH TO BACK YOU UP FOR THIS CLAIM. ALL I NEEDED FROM YOU IS YOUR HONEST CO-OPERATION TO ENABLE US SEE THIS TRANSACTION THROUGH
UPON THE CONCLUSION OF THIS TRANFER, WE SHALL SPILT THE FUNDS IN THE RATIO OF 50% FOR ME AND 40% FOR YOU. THE REMAINING 10% SHALL BE DONATED TO ANY CHARITY ORGANISATION IN YOUR COUNTRY FOR THE GOOD KEEP OF THE ORPHANS. I GUARANTEE THAT THIS WILL BE EXECUTED UNDER LEGITIMATE DISPLAY THAT WILL PROTECT YOU AND I FROM ANY BREACH OF THE LAW. IN OTHER WORDS, IT IS ABSOLUTELY RISK-FREE AND I AM 100% SURE OF ITS SUCCESS.
PLEASE NOTE THAT YOUR CONTACT/PERSONAL INFORMATION IS VERY IMPORTANT TO FACILITATE COMMUNICATION.KINDLY INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING DETAILS OF YOUR HUMBLE SELF IN YOUR REPLY.
YOUR FULL NAME
AGE AND OCCUPATION
MORE FACTS ABOUT THIS TRANSACTION WILL DELIVERED TO YOU ONCE I RECEIVE YOUR RESPONSE SIGNIFYING YOUR WILLINGNESS TO PARTNER WITH ME AND DO NOT FORGET THAT UTMOST CONFIDENTIALITY AND MUTUAL TRUST IS PARAMOUNT IN THIS TRANSACTION.
I LOOK FORWARD TO RECEIVING YOUR PROMPT RESPONSE
THANKS AND REMAIN BLESSED.
RICHARD DUKE (ESQ.)