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.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: "Richard Butland" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2017 16:41:05 -0700
Subject: To Whom it may concern!!!!!
To Whom it may concern
This is a personal email directed to you and I request that it be treated as such. I must solicit your Confidentiality and assure you that I am contacting you in good faith and this proposal will be of mutual benefit. I am Richard Butland, a solicitor at law. I am the personal attorney/sole executor to the late Mr. Allan Oakley, hereinafter referred to as my client who worked as an independent oil magnate in my country, who died in a car crash with his immediate family in East London on the 5th of November 2006.
My late client a formal Sub-Comptroller working with Chevron Texaco Oil here in the United Kingdom and had Left behind a deposit of Five Million Nine Hundred Thousand British Pounds Sterling only (£5.9 million) with a bank. After the death of my client, the finance company contacted me, as his attorney to provide his Next of kin who should inherit his fortune this according to them is their policy in sure circumstances. Since the death of my client, 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. I had to inform the finance company about my fruitless effort in locating my late client close relative or His next of kin.
The board of directors of the company just adopted a resolution and I was mandated to provide his next of kin for the payment of this money within the next 15 official working days or forfeit the money as an abandoned funds. The company had planned to invoke the abandoned property decree of the company to confiscate the funds after the expiration of the period given me. Also I have received official letters in the last two days suggesting a likely proceeding for confiscation of his abandoned personal assets in line with existing laws of the institution.
Well I have reasons very professional and I can use a legal means to present a next of kin of my deceased client. This is legally possible and would be done in accordance with the laws of the land. On this note I decided to search for a credible person and finding that you bear a similar last name, I was urged to contact you, that I may, with your consent, present you to the "Trustee" as my late client's family members 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 are of the same nationality and you bear a similar last name with my late client making it a lot easier for you to put up a claim in that capacity. I have all vital documents that would confer you the legal right to make this claim and would make them available to you so that the proceeds of this bank account valued at 5.9million can be paid to you before it gets confiscated or declared unserviceable to the bank where this huge amount is lodged.
I do sincerely sympathize the death of my client but think it is unprofitable for his funds to be submitted to the government of this country or some financial institution. My aim is to retrieve these funds and let it be claimed by the deceased family Lineage, etc. for this I seek your assistance since I have been unable to locate the relatives for the past 4 years now.
I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased since you have the same last name giving you the advantage so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you and then both of us can share the money, 60% to me and 40% to you. I know there might be other persons out there with the same surname as my last client, but after a little check my instinct tells me to contact you. Can I trust you on this? I shall assemble all the necessary documents that will be used to back up your claim. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of law. 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 said, I require only a solemn confidentiality on this. Please get in touch with me by my alternative email (email@example.com) for better confidentiality and send to me your telephone and fax numbers to enable us discuss further on this transaction. Do not take undue advantage of the trust I have bestowed in you, Thanks for your understanding.
45 Priest gate