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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "hundred thousand us dollars" (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)
- "barr." (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 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- if you are interested, please contact me via email:firstname.lastname@example.org (Citromail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Anthonio De Lezo Abogados S.L" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2018 10:12:00 +0200
Subject: Acknowledge receipt of this letter
*Anthonio De Lezo Abogados S.LAddress: Pl. Fuente Dorada, 10, 47002
Valladolid (Valladolid) EspaÑaTel: 0034-602-670-635Fax:
0034-917-903-745REF AC/SPN/P01/GTOMy name is Barr. Anthonio Delezo and I
work with Anthonio De Lezo Abogados S.L. Actually, I got your contact
information through the World E.S public records while searching for a last
name similar to my late client's a business magnate by name Mrs. Ellen who
lived in Spain for over a decade, she died along with her nuclear family in
a car accident along Alicante, express way which occurred on 29th December
2009.Before I digress, I must first apologize for this unsolicited mail to
you.I am aware that this is certainly an un-orthodox way of approach to
foster a relationship of trust. Yet, I felt compelled due to the prevailing
circumstances and the urgency surrounding this claim.Prior to her death she
deposited the cash sum of $15. 500.000.00 (Fifteen Million, Five Hundred
Thousand US Dollars) with an offshore bank here in Spain. Being the
attorney to late Mrs. Ellen and family, the bank has authorized me to
present the heir/heiress to make Claims else the deposited fund will be
confiscated and taken to the State Treasury as unclaimed fund.Ensuing to
the above I embarked on exhaustive search for a direct family member to my
late client which came to no avail. Based on this and the ultimatum I was
given from the bank to look for a relative to come for the claim fund or it
will be liquidated and made unserviceable in accordance with existing
deposit laws here in the kingdom of Spain.Against this backdrop, my
suggestion to you is that I enjoin you to stand as the next of kin and
beneficiary to my late client deposited fund, I know you may not be anyway
related to my late client but having a common surname with her and the
modality I have in place, I can guarantee that if you follow my
instructions and upon our capitalizing of some judicial loop holes the fund
will be released to us.All I require is your honest cooperation to enable
us achieve this transaction. I wish to point out that I suggest 20% of this
money to be donated to Charity Organizations, while the remaining 80% is
shared equally between us. If you are interested, please contact me via
upon your response, I shall then provide you with more details that will
help you understand this transaction well.Kindly indicate your response to
this mail by sending to me the following information to let me file a
letter of claim.FULL NAMES: ____________________________________GENDER:
PRIVATE EMAIL ADDRESS:_____________Your urgent response will be highly
anticipated and appreciated.Best regard,Barrister Anthonio De LezoPrivate