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:
- "million us 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)
- "hundred thousand us 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister. James Stock Esq." (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2015 13:58:47 -0400
I Am Barrister. James Stock Esq. Spanish Lawyer. Firstly I must solicit your confidence in this proposal; this is by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and top secret. A deceased client of mine that shares the same surname with you, died as a result of a heart-related condition on 12th March 2006, leaving behind a deposit valued of ($10.8 million us dollars). His heart condition was due to
the death of all members of his family during the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe, which occurred on 29th August 2005, during there August holiday.He is expatriate engineer who worked in Spain for Twenty years.
My purpose of contacting you is for you to help secure the funds left behind by my late client, to avoid it being confiscated or returned
to the Government as unclaimed funds by a bank in Spain where this fund valued ($10.800.000.00)Ten Million Eight Hundred Thousand Us Dollars, deposited by my client here in Spain. 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.
The Bank has issued me a notice to contact the next of kin to my client 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 him has proved abortive. And the bank can not release the fund unless somebody applies for it as next of kin to the deceased, as indicated in the banking guidelines. Hence, I have contacted you. I am actually asking for your consent to present your information to the Bank as the Next of Kin/beneficiary of my late client's fund, since you share the same surname, so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you. All the legal documentations to back up your claim as my client's next of Kin, I shall provide. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us achieve this transaction.
I wish to point out that 20% of this money to be shared among charity Organizations, while the remaining 80% shared equally between us.This transaction is entirely risk free. I will use my position as the clients attorney to guarantee the successful execution of this transaction. If you are interested, please contact Barrister James Stock via Tel: +34 603 157 425, Fax: +34 911 820 282. Or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .Upon your response, I shall then provide
you with more details and relevant documents that will help you understand this transaction properly. The intended transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. However, if this business proposal offends your moral ethics, do accept my sincere apology, or if on the contrary you wish to achieve this goal with me, kindly get back to me with your interest for further Explanations.
Please Fill Up This Forms Below And Send It Back To Me For The Processing
YOUR REF Nº:
DATE OF BIRTH:
SEX :( M)
.MARITAL STATUS :( M)
Barrister. James Stock Esq.
Tel: +34 603 157 425
Fax: +34 911 820 282