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 pounds" (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)
- "deadline" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Greg Adam" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2016 02:30:31 -0700
Subject: Re: Treat Urgently
Adam & Associates
13 Dale House
London SE16 2PT
I am Greg Adam, an attorney to John Pedro, a deceased immigrant, Property magnate, an American who was based in the London,also referred to as my client.On the 6th of July 2005, my client, his wife and their only Child died in the train bomb blast along Edgeware road,London United Kingdom.
Since then I have been managing his properties here in the U.K. and some of his properties, which he put out for sale which I monitored the payment as his attorney has been bought and paid for. Now the money paid was deposited into his Local account here. I am contacting you to assist in claiming the money left behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by his bank.
Now, the bank has issued me a notice to provide any of his next of kin or have the account confiscated within a short time.My late client has an account valued a £8 Million Pounds.
Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for some time now , and with the bank giving me deadline, I now seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased, so that the proceeds of this account valued at £8 Million Pounds can be paid to you And then you and I can share the money. 50% to me and 40% for you and 10% for any expenses that might arise.
I have all necessary information/documents that can be used to back up any Claim we may make.
All I required is your honest co-operation to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will Protect you from any breach of the law.
Please get in touch with me via my private email ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) and send me your full names,address, and telephone numbers to enable us discuss further and commence documentation on the payment approval.
Barrister Greg Adam.