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 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)
- "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: William Davies <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2016 09:25:59 -0400
Subject: Project Patner.
BARRISTER William Davies
27 High Street,
North Scarle Lincoln,
England LN6 9EP
I am BARRISTER William Davies Esq. an attorney to Christian Eicht Mason, a deceased
Immigrant. Property magnate, who was based in the Spain, Also referred to as
my client. On the 25th of July 2000, my client, his wife and their two
Children died in the Air France concord plane crash bound for New York in
their plan for a world cruise,
Since then I have been managing his properties here in Spain. 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 account here.
I am contacting you to assist in repatriating the money and property left behind
by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by his
bank particularly, 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 at $40 million dollars. 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 $40
million dollars can be paid to you, and then you and I can share the money.
The mode of shearing will be discussed on your interest in assisting the
transaction. I have all necessary information that can be used to back up
any Claim we may make
All I require is your honest co-operation to enable us seeing this deal
through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate
arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Trust me, as
his attorney; this is a Risk free business relationship. Please get in touch
with me by my private email address: email@example.com
For us to conclude this transaction I will want you to send me the following
information stated below:
1) Your full name.
2) Telephone and fax number, if possible include your mobile
3) Company name, position and address.
4) Profession, age and marital status.
Enable us discuss further about this transaction.
BARRISTER William Davies Esq