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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "attorneys " (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "BAR, DAVID GAMBO" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2021 11:36:16 +0200
Subject: INVESTMENT PROPOSAL
DAVID GAMBO, ATTORNEYS
Fourways View Office Park, 1210 Sunset Boulevard,
Sandton, 2196 South Africa
Tel. +27 780735564
Fax. +27 864614486
Attention to you,
It is with trust and sincerity that I approach you for assistance to
transfer some funds into your bank account. Please do accept my apology if
my mail infringes on your personal ethics. My names are David Gambo, a
Private Lawyer based here in Johannesburg South Africa. Honestly it will
be my humble pleasure if we can work together. I would like you to act as
the next of kin to my deceased client who
made a deposit of $10.5 million, Only with a Bank here in Johannesburg few
He died in an Auto crash with his immediate family without any registered
next of kin and as such the funds now have an open beneficiary mandate with
a Bank, This means that any person from your country can act as the next of
kin of the deceased person for claiming the inheritance funds without any
More so, I have received official letter from the bank suggesting a likely
proceeding for confiscation of the Fund in line with existing laws by the
bank in which my client deposited the sum of $10.5 Million Dollars.
According to the Government Law as provided in section 129 sub 63(N), South
African Banking Edit of 1981 at the expiration of 10 years the fund will
revert to the ownership of the South African Government, if nobody
applies to claim the fund.
My proposition to you is to present you to the bank as the Next of kin and
beneficiary of my deceased client so that the bank will pay this $10.5
million to you so that we can share the amount on a mutually agreed
percentage of 50% for me 50% for you. All legal documents to back up your
claim as the deceased Next of Kin will be provided by me. All I require is
your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction
I guarantee you that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement
that will protect you from any breach of the law.
If you are interested in this transaction, kindly provide me with
(1) YOUR FULL NAME.
(3) MOBILE NUMBER. (4) YOUR COUNTRY. (5) CITY.
Please do let me know immediately so that we can proceed.
Barrister, David Gambo.