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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge deposit" (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)
- "million united state 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)
- "million us 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: David Louis <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2021 21:32:46 -0800
Subject: I NEED YOUR COLLABORATION
DAVID LOUIS SOLICITORS AND ASSOCIATES
3 Whitmore Gardens
London, NW10 5HH
Tel: +44 745 1289 101
I am David Louis, a British citizen and also the personal attorney to
one Robert Fitzpatrick, an American who was a consultant with Shell UK
LTD here in London, who shall be referred to as my client.
Unfortunately my client lost his life on Boeing Egypt Air Flight 990,
which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on October 31st, 1999.(
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/502503.stm ) and left no clear
beneficiary as Next of Kin except some vital documents related to the
deposit still with me.
All efforts by me to trace his Next of Kin proved abortive because he
did not make any will prior to his death. Since then I have made
several inquiries to locate any of my late clients extended relatives
and this has proved unsuccessful. After my several unsuccessful
attempts to locate any member of his family hence I contacted you.
My intention of contacting you is to assist in claiming the money left
behind by my client before they get confiscated or in other words
seized or declared unclaimed by the security company where this huge
deposit was deposited. Particularly, the finance company where the
deceased had the said fund valued at US$11, 000,000.00 (Eleven Million
United State Dollars) has issued me a notice to provide the next of
Consequent upon this, my idea is that we can have a deal/agreement and
I am going to do this legally with your name as the bonafide
beneficiary of the amount in question as I have all legal document to
back our claim, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin
to the deceased so that the proceeds of this account valued at $11
Million US dollars can be paid to your account abroad, note that 40%
of this money will be for you, in respect to the provision of a
foreign account and 50% for me, 10% will be used for the reimbursement
of any expenditure we may incur in the cause of the transaction.
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement
that will protect you from any breach of the law, all I need from you
is your utmost collaboration and sincerity for us to thrive in this
deal. Get back to me ASAP for further advise if you are interested in
this proposed partnership. However, if you are not interested please
do keep me informed as well so I can proceed further with my search.
Looking forward to your urgent response.
God bless you.