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:
- "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)
- "there are practically no risks involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Phillip Dawson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2016 11:41:08 +0400
Subject: Kindly Get back to me ASAP.
Greetings from Dubai,
I am Barr. Phillip Dawson, member of the Global Fiduciary Group Dubai UAE. I have come across your contact in search for an oversea partner whom i shall confide in and portray as next of kin to my deceased client who left a deposit of USD 3,700,000.00. My late client was a real estate developer within the GCC and Middle-East and my investigation revealed that my client and his entire family of 5 died in one of the airstrike in Syria last year and as it stands, the bank is set to frozen his account in the next 60 days if i cannot provide his next of kin to claim the deposit.
I have every related documents of the deposit in my possession and my proposal is to present you to the bank as the next of kin to my deceased client to claim the deposit after which we shall share the money 50/50 and be rest assured there are practically no risks involved. It will be a bank-to-bank transfer and all i need from you is to stand and claim the deposit as next of kin to deceased with my backup.
If you find my proposal interesting, i shall make available for you every necessary documents relating to the deposit and shall file a claim application to the bank on your behalf for release of deposit to you and shall guide you on every procedures to a successful claim of the deposit. Feel free to call me anytime to discuss this as i look forward to seal this deal within 10 working days.
Barr. Phillip Dawson
Global Fiduciary Group Dubai UAE