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:
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barr.James Morris" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2017 05:55:13 -0800
Subject: Attn Very Urgent
This is a personal email directed to you and I request that it be treated as such. I am Barr.James Morris, a solicitor at law. I am the personal attorney/sole executor to the late Mr.Jonathan,hereinafter referred to as 'my client who worked as an independent oil magnate in my country and who died in a car crash with his immediate family on the 4th of oct,2010. Since the death of my client in Oct,2010, I have written several letters to the embassy with intent to locate any of his extended relatives whom shall be claimants/beneficiaries of his abandoned personal estate and all such efforts have been to no avail.
More so, I have received official letters in the last few weeks suggesting a likely proceeding for confiscation of his abandoned personal assets in line with existing laws by the bank in which my client deposited the sum of 4.8 million U.S.D.On this note I decided to search for a credible person and finding that you bear a similar last name, I decided to contact you, that I may, with your consent, present you to the trustee" as my late client's surviving family member so as to enable you put up a claim to the bank in that capacity as a next of kin of my client. I find this possible for the fuller reasons that you bear a similar last name with my client making it a lot easier for you to put up a claim in that capacity. I propose that 65% of the net sum will accrue to you at the conclusion of this deal in so far as I do not incur
Therefore, to facilitate the immediate transfer of this fund, I would like you to contact me immediately by providing the following;
(1) Your full Name
(2) Mobile/ House phone number
(3) Current Address
This will enable me open up communication with you. I will immediately appraise you with the complete details as well as fax you the documents, with which you are to proceed and I shall direct on how to put up an application to the bank.
HOWEVER, you will have to assent to an express agreement which I will forward to you in order to bind us in this
Upon the receipt of your reply, I will send you by fax or E-mail the next step to take. I will not fail to bring to your notice that this proposal is hitch-free and that you should not entertain any fears as the required arrangements have been made for the completion of this transfer. Like I have implied, I require only a solemn confidentiality on this.