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:
- "hundred thousand us 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.)
- "barr." (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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Alvaro Cabeza & Associates" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 12:52:08 +0200
Subject: I Have A Business Proposal
Alvaro Cabeza & Asociados
Avenida de Europa 26-Ed.Atica 5-Planta 2
Pozuelo de Alarcon Madrid 28224 Spain
E-mail : email@example.com
My name is Barrister Paco Martinez and I work with Alvaro Cabeza & Asociados Spain. Actually, I got your contact information through the World E.S public records while searching for a last name similar to my late client's a business magnate by name Mrs. Ellen who lived in Spain for over a decade, she died along with her nuclear family in a car accident along Alicante, express way which occurred on 29th December 2009.
Before I digress, I must first apologize for this unsolicited mail to you. I am aware that this is certainly an un-orthodox way of approach to foster a relationship of trust. Yet, I felt compelled due to the prevailing circumstances and the urgency surrounding this claim. Prior to her death she deposited the cash sum of $15. 500.000.00 (Fifteen Million, Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars) with an offshore bank here in Spain. Being the attorney to late Mrs. Ellen and family, the bank has authorized me to present the heir/heiress to make Claims else the deposited fund will be confiscated and taken to the State Treasury as unclaimed fund.
Ensuing to the above I embarked on exhaustive search for a direct family member to my late client which came to no avail. Based on this and the ultimatum I was given from the bank to look for a relative to come for the claim fund or it will be liquidated and made unserviceable in accordance with existing deposit laws here in the kingdom of Spain.
Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I enjoin you to stand as the next of kin and beneficiary to my late client deposited fund, I know you may not be anyway related to my late client but having a common surname with her and the modality I have in place, I can guarantee that if you follow my instructions and upon our capitalizing of some judicial loop holes the fund will be released to us.
All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us achieve this transaction. I wish to point out that I suggest 20% of this money to be donated to Charity Organizations, while the remaining 80% is shared equally between us. If you are interested, please contact me via private Tel: +34-672-844-600 Fax: + 34-917-903-745 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, upon your response, I shall thenprovide you with more details that will help you understand this transaction well.
Kindly indicate your response to this mail either via my office email and / or my private email address, you can also call or send me a fax for further clarification. Ensure to get back to me if you are not willing to collaborate with me so that I can further my search for another partner.
Barr. Paco Martinez Esq
Private E-mail: email@example.com
DISCLAIMER AND CONFIDENTIALITY NOTE
Everything in this letter and any attachments relating to the official business of Alvaro Cabeza & Asociados is proprietary to the company. It is confidential, legally privileged and protected by law. Alvaro Cabeza & Asociados does not own and endorse any other content. The person addressed in the letter is the sole authorised recipient. Access to this letter by anyone else is unauthorised. If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution or any action taken or omitted in reliance on this, is prohibited and may be unlawful. No liability or responsibility is accepted if information or data is, for whatever reason corrupted or does not reach its intended recipient