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:
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "chambers" (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "William van brook" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2018 03:58:33 -0700
My name is Barrister William van brook and I work with AKD CHAMBERS NETHER LAND. Actually, I got your contact information through the World Netherlands public records while searching for a last name similar to my late client's a business magnate by name Thomas Munoz , who lived in Netherlands for over a decade, He died along with her nuclear family in a car accident along Utrecht express way which occurred on 29th December 2009.
Before I digress, I must first apologize for this unsolicited mail to you. I am aware that this is certainly an un-orthodox way of approach to foster a relationship of trust. Yet, I felt compelled due to the prevailing circumstances and the urgency surrounding this claim. Prior to his death he deposited the cash sum of $4. 500.000 (Four Million, Five Hundred US Dollars) with an offshore bank here in Netherlands. Being the attorney to late Thomas Munoz And family, the bank has authorized me to present the late beneficiary to make Claims else the deposited fund will be confiscated and taken to the State Treasury as unclaimed fund.
Ensuing to the above I embarked on exhaustive search for a direct family member to my late client which came to no avail. Based on this and the ultimatum I was given from the bank to look for a relative to come for the claim fund or it will be liquidated and made unserviceable in accordance with existing deposit laws here in the Netherlands.
Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I like you to stand as the next of kin and beneficiary to my late client deposited fund, I know you may not be anyway related to my late client but having a common surname with him and the modality I have in place, I can guarantee that if you follow my instructions and upon our capitalizing of some judicial loop holes the fund will be released to us.
All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us achieve this transaction. I wish to point out that I suggest 20% of this money to be donated to Charity Organizations, while the remaining 80% is shared equally between us. If you are interested, please contact me via my private email address Email:email@example.com, upon your response, I shall then provide you with more details that will help you understand this transaction well.
Thank you for your cooperation
William van brook