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:
- "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)
- "million 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)
- "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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister.Fredrick Bernard" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 6 Aug 2017 15:57:02 -0500
My name is Barrister: Fredrick Bernard Solicitor.The Personal Attorney to
Eng.Peter,a national of your country who used to work with Agip
Development Company here in Benin Cotonue.On the 6th of June 2015,my
client, his wife and their two children were involved in a car accident
along lumkpe Express Road.All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost
there lives.Since then I have made several inquiries to my late client's
embassy to locate any of his blood extended relatives,but this proves
unsuccessful,After these several unsuccessful attempts, 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 repartrating the money and property
left behind by my client prior to his death before they get confiscated
or declared unserviceable by the bank where this huge deposits were
lodged.Particularly,the Bank where the deceased had an account valued at
about $14.5 million dollars.The bank has issued me a notice to provide
the next of kin or have the account confiscated within the next 14
official working days.since i have been
unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 2years and some months
now,I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased
since you are from thesame country,so that the proceeds of this account
valued at $14.5million dollars can be paid to you,thereafter you and I
can share the money. 50% to me and 50% to you,
I will secure certificate of deposit and other relevant approvals
documents that can be used to back up any claim we may make.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.Please get in touch with me by my
private email: email@example.com to enable us discuss
NB:Pls include to me your private telephone and fax number in your response