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 united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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: "David West." <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 17 Jun 2017 00:12:03 +0100
Subject: Your urgent Response Is Highly Needed.
Before I proceed, I must first apologize for this unsolicited mail to you. I am aware that this is certainly not a conventional way of approach to establish a relationship of trust, but you will realize the need for my action. My name is Barr. David West the personal attorney to late Mr. Peter a seasoned Company Director before his untimely demise On October 5, 1999, my client was involved in a train crash., Britain's worst train crash.
You share the same surname with my client hence I contacted you to assist me in recovering the Fund valued at USD$20.5 Million (Twenty Million, Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars Only). The Bank where the fund is deposited has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have the fund confiscated within the next Three (3) Weeks of official working days from now. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over seventeen (17) years now, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased so that the proceeds of this fund can be paid to you.
On receipt of your positive response, we shall then discuss the sharing ratio and modalities for the transfer. I have all necessary information and legal Documents needed to back you up for the claims. All I required from you is your honesty and maximum co-operation which this transaction deserves. I guarantee that this will be executed under 100% legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.
Please, get back to me if you are interested.
Barr. David West
A solicitor based London United Kingdom.