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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "lagos" (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.
- 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: "Office" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 27 May 2016 17:19:23 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: My Dear Friend
>From Barrister I. Williams.
Senior Advocate, International Legal Practitioner
Williams chambers & Financial Attorney
Plot 112/25 Joint crescent Victoria Island Lagos-Nigeria.
My Dear Friend,
It is with trust and sincerity that I approach you for assistance to
transfer some funds into your bank account. Please do accept my
apology if my mail infringes on your personal ethics. My name is
Barrister I. Williams. A Private Lawyer based here in Lagos Nigeria.
Honestly it will be my humble pleasure if we can work together.
I would like you to act as the next of kin to my deceased client, a
citizen of United States Of America who made a deposit of $20 million only with a
Bank here in Nigeria few years back. He died in a plane crash with his
immediate family in a plane crash without any registered next of kin
and as such the funds now have an open beneficiary mandate with a
Bank, This means that any foreigner i present can act as the
next of kin of the deceased person for claiming the inheritance funds
without any risk involved.
Moreso, I have received official letter from the bank to provide next
of kin to my client or suggesting a likely proceeding for confiscation
of the Fund in line with existing laws by the bank in which my client
deposited the sum of $20 Million Dollars . According to the Government
Law as provided in section 129 sub 63(N), Nigeria Banking Edit of 1961
at the expiration of years the fund will revert to the ownership of
the Nigeria Government, if nobody applies to claim the fund.
My proposition to you is to present you to the bank as the Next of kin
and beneficiary of my deceased client so that the bank will pay this
$20 million to you so that we can share the amount on a mutually
agreed percentage of 50% for me 50% for you.
All legal documents to back up your claim as the deceased Next of Kin
will be provided by me. All I require is your honest cooperation to
enable us see this transaction through. I guarantee you that this will
be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from
any breach of the law.
If you are interested in this transactions, Please do let me know
immediately so that I can give you comprehensive details on how to
proceed.Please reply to my private e-mail box: email@example.com
Barrister I Williams