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:
- "death certificate" (this phrase is often used in inheritance scams such as next of kin or https://www.419scam.org/419-murdered-businessman.htm">orphan scams. )
- "affidavit of claim" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "million united states 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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "chambers" (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: "IMPORTANT" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2016 02:54:04 -0500
Subject: Dear Beneficiary, (IMPORTANT)
I am contacting you with regards to this particular fund belonging to my deceased client, I decided to contact you about this unclaimed deposits. If you are not interested, please ignore this mail and go about your normal business. I am Barrister Johnson Douglas, principal partner of Douglas Chambers & Co, Law Office and Notaries Public and practising Law in United Kingdom. I specialise in family law, will, probate and tax saving strategies. On May 12 2010, one of my senior clientsâ Mr. Thomas Bahia a DUTCH died in a plane crash that happened in Libya. Here is a link for your view: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/13/world/middleeast/13libya.html?_r=1 message received on 02/12 at 08:17.
My client stated his wife as his next of kin, but unfortunately she died also in the crash, along with their three children. I am the executor of my clientâs will and have shared his assets and properties to his extended family members and they have gone since December 2010.
But my client deposited the sum of $5.8 million United States Dollars in a fixed deposit account in a bank in United Kingdom not known to anybody. On January 15th 2015
the bank wrote me as his lawyer/executor to bring along the next of kin/beneficiary of my client to inherit his funds (US$5.8m). I have therefore decided to contact you to present you as the next of kin/beneficiary to my client, to enable you receive the fund on our behalf as my clientâs spouse and dependent all died in the plane crash with him. All the documents required to claim this funds are in my possession like the affidavit of claim, death certificate, certificate of deposit, transfer of ownership, certificate of inheritance etc.
I will forward to you all these documents required to claim this funds. All I need from you is to indicate your interest to be the next of kin/beneficiary to my dead client and I will present it to the bank. This is 100% legitimate. When you receive the money in your account I will come over to your country for the sharing as follows> 45% for you and 45% for me. The remaining 10% will be set aside for expenses that will be incurred by both parties during the course of this transfer to your account. As the fiduciary/trusted representative of the deceased, and as the manager of his assets, properties and financial affairs when Mr. Thomas Bahia was alive, I have absolute duty to properly administer the estate for its beneficiary.