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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",000,000" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Tom Michiel," (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 3 Jan 2021 23:04:32 +0100
Subject: Happy New Year - BE THE NEXT OF KIN (NOK) !!!
From United Kingdom.From United Kingdom.
27 Holborn Viaduct, Holborn,
London EC1A 2BN, United Kingdom.
My name is Barrister Tom Michiel, a solicitor at law and personal attorney to Mr.Robin Alexandre, a national of your country, My reason to contact you is because I need yourassistance to claim the sum of ( 1,000,000.00 euros ) deposited in a Bank by my late client who died few years ago. Here in after shall be referred to as my client who is an American investor here in Belgium. On the 24th of July 2018, myclient, and their only daughter were involved during the car accident which took him away from me.
Now the Bank where this huge amount were deposited has authorized me as his personal attorney to appoint his Next of Kin to make his claim. Since then I have made several enquiries here to locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to search contact you to stand for this project.
BE THE NEXT OF KIN. I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law, I will have 60% of the proceed while you have 40% for your assistance.
If you declare your interest email me your information to enable me send you the detail message.
Barrister Tom Michiel