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)
- "barrister" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Eric Orji" <firstname.lastname@example.org> (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2021 23:23:51 +0200
It is understandable if you are apprehensive reading from me today since there was no previous communication between us. However, I implore your attention to the herewith contained subject matter which benefits our interest. I came across your contact via scrupulous search conducted by an IT specialist whom I have employed for the purpose of the same.
I am Eric Oji and I promote this communication in my capacity as the principal attorney of my law firm. A deceased client Henry died in 2012, leaving a sum a little above US$ 28 million in his account here in Unity Bank Plc. Normally banking procedure requires the funds be forfeited and transferred to the Registry of Unclaimed Property for government use after 8 years from the time of death of my client.
The present situation underscores my contacting you given that you and my deceased client share the same last name and nationality. I am disposed to present you as the beneficiary and administrator (NEXT OF KIN) to the account. It may also interest you to know that it will be executed within the parameter of the law. We shall discuss the ratio (%) succinctly and promote them in written signed agreement before commencement.
I wish to submit that I would expect nothing less but honesty and transparency. I will uncover further information on the matter in my next email.
If you are interested, kindly include your direct cell phone numbers for further discussion.
Barrister Eric Orji