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:
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: 'SMITH GLOBAL LAW'<Smithglobal.law@Un.org>
Date: 28 Feb 2021 03:23:39 -0500
Subject: email@example.com,LAST & FINAL WARNING NOTICE!!!
It is good to be in contact with you even though this medium of
communication has been grossly abused by impostors and criminal
minded people thereby making it difficult for people with genuine
struggle to correspond and exchange views without skepticism.
I am contacting you because you share the same last name with a
deceased client of mine who died with his family a few years ago.
He left behind a lot of bank deposits with no will to mention a
next of kin and I have sold a few of his properties which
deposits have been made into his account here in London. I have
been in recent communication with the banks where he has these
deposits and they have made it abundantly clear that I should
provide any of his relatives to come forward and claim his money.
According to the laws of England and Wales, section 46 of the
Administration of Estates Act of 1925 (with subsequent
amendments). My late client's bank has issued me a final written
notice to provide his next-of-kin within 7 days or have his funds
declared ''UNCLAIMED'' and sent into government treasury.
It is my plan therefore to present you as a relative to my late
client so that his deposit can be transferred to you legally by
virtue of the fact that you share the same last name and I can
easily present you as his relative. I will make this presentation
possible as it is my sole responsibility as the legal
Administrator and I will guide you all the way until his funds
are released to you. We shall be sharing the proceed of this
claim equally if you accept to work with me and I will share more
details with you upon your positive response to my email. I hope
to hear from you soon.