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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "lome togo" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Nicholas Febland" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2016 05:40:00 -0700
Subject: From Nicholas Febland,
I am Barrister Nicholas Febland, the solicitor and executor of your late
relative, will" and "Testament"; who died of kidney cancer with
UN-identified family or relative. I am contacting you to stand in as a next
of kin to his deposit of US $7. 2 million, with one of the leading bank
here in Lome Togo west Africa since you share the same last name with my late client,
The bank has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin, kindly reply
with the following information for further clarifications, (Your Full Name,
Telephone, Age, Occupation)
Barrister Nicholas Febland Esq.