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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" 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 (Mail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- law & solicitors (south africa)email: firstname.lastname@example.org please after you have contact my lawyer please do contact (Mail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2016 20:10:53 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: Mrs.Lianna Brittain Family.
HELLO MY BELOVED IN THE LORD.
I AM MRS.LIANNA BRITTAIN, FROM REPUBLIC OF IRELAND, BORN IN THE STATE OF OHIO USA. I AM LEGALLY MARRIED TO MR.STRAHAN BRITTAIN, A SOUTH AFRICA CITIZEN BORN BROUGHT UP IN SWITZERLAND, I LIVE IN SWITZERLAND WITH MY HUSBAND FOR 32 YEARS BEFORE WE MOVE DOWN TO SOUTH AFRICA IN 1985 AFTER MY HUSBAND RETIREMENT IN 1974, I AM 70 YEARS OLD BY THE GRACE OF GOD, I AM A NEW CHRISTIAN CONVERT, SUFFERING FROM LONG TIME CANCER OF THE BREAST.
ALL INDICATION FROM MY DOCTOR THAT MY CONDITIONS IS REALLY DETERIORATING AND IT IS QUITE OBVIOUS THAT I WOULDNT LIVE MORE THAN TWO MONTHS, ACCORDING TO MY DOCTORS AND IN ALL INDICATION REGARDS TO MEDICAL ANALYSIS.THIS IS BECAUSE THE CANCER DISEASE HAS GOTTEN TO A VERY BAD STAGE THAT NO HOPE FOR ME TO BE A LIVING PERSON AGAIN. MY DEAR HUSBAND WAS INVOLVED WITH THE JANUARY 2000 KENYA AIRWAYS PLANE CRASHED AS YOU CAN SEE ON THE NEWS LINE WEB SITE.
40 YEARS PERIOD OF MARRIAGE LIFE, STILL WE HAVE NOT PRODUCE ANY CHILD HE, MY LATE HUSBAND WAS VERY WEALTHY AND AFTER HIS DEATH, I INHERITED SOME PART OF HIS BUSINESS AND MONEY IN THE BANK. THE DOCTORS HAS ADVISED ME THAT I MAY NOT LIVE FOR MORE THAN SOME MONTHS AND 3 WEEKS AND WARN ME TO DECEASE FROM THINKING OVER WHO IS GOING TO INHERIT ME, TODAY I HAVE DECIDED TO DONATE CONTRIBUTE TO THE LESS PRIVILEGES, CHARITY AND ORPHANAGE HOMES. I MADE THIS DECISION AFTER LISTING TO THE NEWS LINE ABOUT 100 YEARS OLD WOMAN WHO SECRETLY DONATE HER FORTUNE UPON HER DEATH,
I CHOOSE YOU AFTER VIEWING YOUR PROFILE AND I HAVE CONFIDENT IN YOU BECAUSE I HAVE PRAYED. I AM WILLING TO DONATE THE SUM OF $20.5 MILLION U.S DOLLARS, TO THE LESS PRIVILEGED. PLEASE I WANT YOU TO NOTE THAT THIS FUND IS STILL IN THE SECURITY COMPANY WHERE MY HUSBAND DEPOSITED IT.I AM GOING TO ADVICE MY LAWYER TO CHANGE MY LAST WILL TO YOUR NAME IN THE APPLICATION FILE I HAVE WITH THE LAWYER FOR THE TRANSFER OF THE MONEY IN TO YOUR NAME. LASTLY, I HONESTLY PRAY THAT THIS MONEY WHEN TRANSFERRED WILL BE U SED FOR THE SAID PURPOSE EVEN THOUGH I AM LATE THEN OR ALIVE, BECAUSE I HAVE COME TO FIND OUT THAT WEALTH ACQUISITION WITHOUT GOD IS VANITY ACCORDING TO THE WISEST KING IN ISRAEL KING SOLOMON, AND I MADE THE PROMISE TO GOD THAT THE FUND WILL BE USE TO HELP THE NEEDY AND THE LESS PRIVILEGE,
MAY THE GRACE OF OUR LORD THE LOVE OF GOD AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF GOD BE WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, PLEASE FURTHER DISCUSSION CONTACT MY LAWYER BY HIS
NAME; BARRISTER: JABU J. ALEXANDER CHAMBERS ASSOCIATE, ESQ.ATTORNEYS AT LAW & SOLICITORS (SOUTH AFRICA)EMAIL: email@example.com
PLEASE AFTER YOU HAVE CONTACT MY LAWYER PLEASE DO CONTACT ME BACK WITH MY EMAIL ADRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
IAM WAITING FOR YOUR URGENT REPLY
REMAIN BLESSED WITH YOUR FAMILY.
MRS LIANNA BRITTAIN FAMILY.