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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "David Cotton"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 16 Nov 2021 13:05:49 -0800
Subject: Glad tidings.
Hello and Glad tidings to you,
I am very sorry for intruding. I am a Lawyer and my name is David
Cotton. I am contacting you because you share the same last name
with a deceased client of mine who died a few years ago. He left
behind huge bank deposits with no will or testament. The bank has
requested that I present any of his relatives to claim his money
otherwise it will be declared as unclaimed and confiscated.
It is my plan therefore to present you to the bank as a relative
of my late client so that his deposit can be transferred to you
legally by virtue of the fact that you share the same last name
with him. I am able to make this presentation possible and will
guide you all the way until his funds are released to you. We
shall be sharing the proceeds of this claim equally if you accept
to work with me. I will share more details with you upon your
positive response to my email. I hope to hear from you soon.
David Cotton Esq