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:
- 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.)
- "high court" (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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Cutt" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2018 20:25:39 +0100
Subject: My Mail
I hope that this letter will not be of a surprise to you,I decided to contact you after I have considered and thought about this proposal, therefore I realized that it will be of mutual benefit to both of us.You might not know me in person, however, I got your contact from Business Web directory while I was surfing the net to get my late client next of kin but all my endeavor was without success. I will also like to ask for your permission before intruding into your privacy.
My name is Anto Cutt, A Lawyer to deceased client of mine who died with her little family and left Twenty million Euros in an european bank without next of kin.When she deposited the fund, she did not include any name as her next of kin. Since she died, her account has been dormant, so no one has come forward to claim this fund.
My main reasons for contacting you is simply, I want you to stand as her next of kin as well as her business partner.The Bank has issued me a notice to contact the next of kin or the account will be declared unserviceable and the fund will be diverted to the Bank treasury, So far,all my efforts to get a hold of someone related to my late client has proved abortive. I am actually asking for your consent to present you to the Bank as her Next of Kin/beneficiary of my late client's fund.
I have the full right to present anyone to the bank as her next of kin since I am her lawyer and I have every documents to back up the claim if only you will listen to me and work accordingly to my instruction. What I am demanding from you, is utmost trust and secrecy in this deal because of security reason.
I request that you kindly forward to me your letter of acceptance of our mutual business endeavour by furnishing me with the following;
1. Beneficiary name and address.
2. Direct Mobile number and fax numbers.
3.Occupation and Sex
These requirements will enable us file a letter of claim at our high court probate division for the release of this sum of money.
I wish to point out that I want 20% of this money to be shared among charity Organizations, while the remaining 80% is shared equally between us.This transaction is entirely risk free.
Barrister Anto Cutt
Private Email: firstname.lastname@example.org