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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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)
- "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 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: "Joe Cooper" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2017 22:45:08 +0200
Subject: !!! CALL URGENT ME PLEASE !!!
From Barcelona Spain.
Mobile +34 631093714
My name is Barrister Joe Cooper, a solicitor at law and personal attorney to Mr. Robert Jack, a national of your country, who used to work as an official contractor (Category D) with REPSOL YPF, SPAIN (RY) an oil firm in Spain. My reason to contact you is because I need your assistance to claim the sum of 1 Million Euros ( 1,000,000.00 ) deposited in a Bank by my late client who died few years ago. Here in after shall be referred to as my client. On the 30th of July 2013, my client, and their only daughter were involved during the Spanish train crash which took him away from me. Copy paste the link below for news info on edition.cnn.com/2013/07/30/ world/europe/spain-train-crash . Now the Bank where this huge amount were deposited has authorized me as his personal attorney to appoint his Next of Kin to make his claim. Since then I have made several enquiries here to locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful at
tempts, I decided to sear
I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law, I will have 60% of the proceed while you have 40% for your assistance.
If you declare your interest to enable me send you the detail message.
Barrister Joe Cooper