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:
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "JF Robert Legal Firm" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 05 Oct 2020 16:45:06 -0700
Subject: COVID-19 KILLED ANTHONY
JF Robert Legal Firm
+ 1 915-229-3939
Dear Sir/ Madam
How are you doing today ? I hope this message meets you in a good condition. I am Barrister Alan Fletcher a legal practitioner with the above firm.
The reason why I have contacted you is because I need your maximum cooperation . My Client in person of Anthony M is dead , he died of COVID -19 on May 17th 2020 in New Jersey USA. He was a national of your country .
I want to present you as his next of kin . You will be presented as his beneficiary for the proceeds of the money he left behind .
I am a lawyer and I am assuring you that this transaction is legal and hitch free. I will be responsible to provide you with all relevant information and proof. Please kindly work with me as one.
Kindly send me your Name and telephone number. Kindly contact me via email( firstname.lastname@example.org )or whatsapp me on my + 1 915-229-3939. I sincerely await your urgent response.