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:
- ",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)
- "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: Marlon Mayor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 6 Apr 2020 01:09:19 +0100
Dearest in mind,
I would like to introduce myself for the first time. My name is Barrister Marlon Mayor, the personal lawyer to my late client. Who worked as a private businessman in the international field. In 2014, my client succumbed to an unfortunate car accident in Switzerland. My client was single and childless, He left a fortune worth $29,500,000.00 Dollars in a Bank in Amsterdam Netherlands.The bank sent me message that I have to introduce a beneficiary or the money in their bank will be confiscate. My purpose of contacting you is to make you the Next of Kin.
My late client left no will, I as his personal lawyer, was commissioned by the Amsterdam Netherlands to search for relatives to whom the money left behind could be paid to. I have been looking for his relatives for the past 3 months continuously without success. Now I explain why I need your support.
I hereby ask if you will give me your consent to present you to the Amsterdam Bank in Netherlands as the next of kin to my deceased client.I would like to point out that you will receive 40% of the share of this money, 50% then I would be entitled to, 10% percent will be donated to charitable organizations.
If you are interested, please contact me at my private contact details.
I am waiting for your answer