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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- ",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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "barr." (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.
Fraud email example:
From: Brian <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2016 15:22:01 +0100
Subject: This is between You and Me
Brian Myer Law Firm
Barrister's & Solicitor's
OFFICIALLY DIRECTED TO YOU
Hello, I am Barr. Brian Myer, a legal practitioner based in Australia. I feel quite safe dealing with you in this business proposition, although this medium (Internet) has been greatly abused, I chose to reach you through it because it still remains the fastest, surest and most secured medium of communication. Please be informed that this message is not a hoax mail and I urge you to treat it with the seriousness it deserves.
I am the personal attorney to Mr. LEE W. KEONG, a Chinese Australian based in Melbourne who was a business owner in Australia and Asia, unfortunately my client lost his life one year ago aboard Malaysia Airline 777-200ER, which crashed in the eastern Ukraine, close to the border with Russia, 17 July 2014 (Please read for more details of his death (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-28360827) He left no clear beneficiary as next of kin, except some vital documents related to his deposited fund in the Chinese Bank still within my reach, he did not make any WILL prior to his death.
I have made several attempts to locate any of my late client's extended relatives and this has proved unsuccessful. After my several unsuccessful attempts to locate any member of his family hence I contacted you. I am contacting you to assist in claiming and receiving the fund left behind by Late LEE WHY KEONG before they get confiscated or declared unclaimed by the BANK in China where this huge fund were deposited. The said fund valued at Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars Only ($7,500,000.00) recently, the Bank has issued me a notice to provide the Next of Kin and beneficiary to the deceased or have this fund confiscated within three months.
Consequent upon this, my idea is that we can have a deal/agreement and I am going to do this legally with your name as the bona fide beneficiary to the deceased to enable us have possession to this deposit as I have all legal documents to back this claim successfully.
I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin/beneficiary to Late LEE WHY KEONG so that the proceeds of his deposit valued at Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars Only ($7,500,000.00) can be paid to you by the Bank in China and it will be shared on agreed ratio, 40% of this money will be for you in respect of your assistance and 50% would be for me as I have plan to meet you in the future as soon as the transaction is completed, 10% will be used for the reimbursement of any expenditure we may incur in the cause of this proposition.
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law, all I need from you is your utmost collaboration, and courage and sincerity to enable us thrive on this deal swiftly and without the consent of my colleagues in the chamber.
Please indicate your full interest to partner with me privately in this business and get back to me immediately you receive this message for confidential purpose send your full name, telephone/fax number and address so that we can discuss further on this transaction immediately.
Barr. Brian Myer