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:
- "million pounds" (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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.
- 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: "MR JAMES EDWARD" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2021 22:44:18 +0100
Subject: ATTN: FROM JAMES EDWARD
My Name is Barr James Edward, I am a partner at Harcourt LLP a London based Law Firm.
Firstly, I must solicit your confidence in this transaction, this is by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential. Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and worried, but I am assuring you that all will be well at the end of the day. I decided to contact you after series of attempt to locate members of deceased family.
There is an unclaimed permanent life insurance policy insured for Fouty FiVE Million pounds (45M pounds ) which is deposited in a top bank here in London. The account holder was one of our clients, Late Eng. Harris Blessing, who worked with an Energy Company here in London. he died in an accident here in London Seven years ago. Since his death no one has come forward for the claim of these fund , and all our efforts to locate his relatives in America have proved unsuccessful. The Bank code code stipulates that insured permanent policies" not claimed must be turned over to the abandoned property division of the state after seven years.
Therefore, I ask for your consent to be in partnership with me for the claim of this policy benefit, in view of the fact that you are not from London and nationality with the deceased. If you permit me to add your name to the policy, all proceeds will be processed on your behalf. I wish to point out that I want 10% of this money to be shared among charity organizations while the remaining 90% will be shared between us.
This is 100% risk free, I do have all necessary documentation to expedite the process in a highly professional and confidential manner. I will provide all the relevant documents to substantiate your claim as the beneficiary and also as the next of kin. This claim requires a high level of confidentiality and it may take up to thirty (15) business days, from the date of receipt of your consent.
Please contact me either via: (Email: email@example.com , Tel: +447452181863. Your earliest response to this matter would be highly appreciated.
Barr James Edward, B.A.
(This communication, links contained herein, is for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain information that is confidential or legally protected.)
1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf,
London E14 5AB\U.k