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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge deposit" (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.)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2017 08:15:27 -0800
Assalamu alaikum Dear Friend
My name is Barrister Abdullah Qassem, the personal attorney to late son of Muammar Gaddafi: Al-Mutassim-Billah Muammar al-Gaddafi.
Since after death of my client and upon maturity of his time deposit with Emirates National Bank of Dubai, I have made several inquiries to my late client's embassy to locate any of his blood/ extended relatives in order to put claims to his funds deposited with Emirates National Bank of Dubai, but all attempts have proved futile and unsuccessful. I decided to trace his relatives over the Internet, to locate any member of his family but of no avail, hence I contacted you.
I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the money and property left behind by my client in the UAE prior to his death before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Emirates National Bank of Dubai where these huge deposits were lodged. Particularly the time deposit US$21M.
The bank has issued a notice to me to provide the next of kin or have the funds confiscated within the next 21 official working days. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 3years and some months now, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased.
Once the deal is successfully completed and the funds released in your name, we will share the funds in the ratio of 50% to me and 50% to you,
I will work out all the technical details for a smooth movement of the funds out of the bank if
I get your response about your readiness to cooperate with me.
All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this deal through .I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.
Contact me urgently if you are interested.
Barrister Qassem Abdullah