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.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Larry Clark" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 7 May 2021 15:35:51 +0100
Subject: COVID-19 Inheritance
My name is Dr. Larry Clark the personal physician Mr.Pannell Louis, a
national of your country, who was a civil contractor with Shell
Petroleum Development Company in London-UK. On the 2nd day of March,
2020; Mr. Pannell tested positive for the "Corona Virus" in the
Bristol London. He was immediately taken to an
isolation center by the European center for Disease Control (ECDC).
However, he passed away after a painful battle with the dreaded virus
on the 29th day of April, 2020. "May his soul rest in Peace!" Since
then, I have made several inquiries to your embassy, through my
attorney, to locate any of my Late employer's extended relatives but
to no avail. After these unsuccessful attempts, I decided to search
for anyone with a similar surname over the Internet in a final bid to
locate any member of his family. This was how I found you and decided
to contact you!
I am hereby proposing that you assist in claiming and repatriating the
money and property left behind by my client in London-UK before the
government of that country may take over those assets or declare them
dormant. From his local lawyer's body language, I fear that he might
connive with the bank (where my Late employer lodged funds which he
was using to finance his numerous projects with the petroleum
company), to divert and attempt to claim these funds especially as he
knows so much about the Late Mr. Pannell! However, I am bent on
thwarting any such move.I strongly guarantee that this will be
executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any
breach of the laws.
Dr Larry Clark.