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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "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.
- 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: Info service <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2017 16:45:26 +0500
Subject: Mark A. Haller
I am pleased to introduce myself, I am Felix MaÃ±ez Esq, a partner at MaÃ±ez & MaÃ±ez Abogados a Spanish based Law Firm and also a personal attorney to Late Mr. Michael a national of your country.
There is an unclaimed âpermanent life insurance policyâ insured for Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars (US$ 7,500,000.00) with a top Life Insurance Company in Spain. The policy holder was one of our clients, Late Eng. Michael Haller, who worked with Energy Company in London, he died in an accident , Seven years ago. Since his death no one has come forward for the claim and all our efforts to locate his relatives have proved unsuccessful. The insurance company code stipulates that âinsured permanent policies" not claimed must be turned over to the abandoned property division of the state after six years.
Therefore, I ask for your consent to be in partnership with me for the claim of this policy benefit, in view of the fact that you share the same last name and nationality with the deceased. If you permit me to add your name to the policy, all proceeds will be processed on your behalf. I wish to point out that I want 10% of this money to be shared among charity organizations while the remaining 90% will be shared between us.
This is 100% risk free, I do have all necessary documentation to expedite the process in a highly professional and confidential manner. I will provide all the relevant documents to substantiate your claim as the beneficiary. This claim requires a high level of confidentiality and it may take up to thirty (30) business days, from the date of receipt of your consent.a
Please contact me either via: Email: email@example.com, Tel: +34 631672530.
Your earliest response to this matter would be highly appreciated.
Your faithfully, Felix MaÃ±ez, Esq./ Barrister at law.