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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "chief attorney" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "John Bellman Solicitors" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2019 10:18:18 -0800
Subject: RE: please answer me for more details.
Dear good friend,
My name is John Bellman, I am the chief attorney and insurance expert at John Bellman Solicitors here in London UK. It may surprise you to receive this letter from me as there has been no previous correspondence between us. I am writing to you in respect of a non-claimed $9,820,000 "life insurance" from a UK bank (Santander Bank Plc) held by our deceased customer (Late Mr Hans). Unfortunately my client had left no will left before his death. I ask for your consent to work in partnership with me to claim this insurance benefit since my late client share the same nationality with you. If you allow me to add your name to the policy, all revenue will be processed on your behalf and immediately transferred to your account in your country. I would like to point out that I would like 10% of this money to be shared among charities, while the remaining 90% will be divided equally between us.
If you are interested, please answer me for more details.
Yours in Service
John Bellman Solicitors
Mr John Bellman (Principal Associate)
144 Borough High Street,