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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Richard Martin <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2021 18:40:45 +0000
Subject: Dear Friend
I am Barr Richard Martin a legal consultant and High Court representative based in Benin Republic. I am writing in respect of my late client who is a national of your country and who used to work as the Director of Produit's Petrolier's (TOTAL BENIN) in Benin Republic West Africa.
My Client, His wife and their three Children died in a car accident on the 26TH of April 2006 in Benin Republic, since then I have made several inquiries to locate any of my clients extended relatives but all efforts was just in vain, so I decided to track His last name over the Internet to locate any member of his Family. I have contacted you to assist me claim and transferring the money left behind by my late Client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the local bank here. The Bank has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have the account confiscated as unclaimed bill.
I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased so that the proceeds of this account valued at (US$18.5M) can be paid to you and then you and I can Share the money 50% to me and 50% to you.
All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us seeing this Deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law, but you must also agree not to disclose or pass any information related to this business to anybody for security reason and to avoid eye brow.
As soon as i hear from you i will give you more details on how this business deal can be successfully achieved without delay.
I look forward to your urgent response.
Barr Richard Martin.