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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "liberia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Solomon Ezeh <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2021 12:05:56 +0100
Subject: Dear Friend, Can We Work Together?
*From Solomon Ezeh & Associates,*
*No. 17 Muhd Bashar Way. Daura.*
*Email: (firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>)*
*My name is Barrister Solomon Ezeh, an attorney. I was the personal
attorney to Late Mr. Mamie **, who was a Citizen of your country, On the
27th of January 2016, my client, his wife and their only son died following
the bomb blast that occurred in Ghana on that date. Since then I have been
making several attempts to locate any of my client's relatives but all my
efforts have been unsuccessful.*
*As a result of this I decided to track his last name over the Internet
hoping to locate any member of his family or someone who could fit in. This
led to my contacting you, since you have the same last name with my client.*
*I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the money and property left
behind before they are confiscated or declared unserviceable by the
Security Company here where he had a cash deposit of US$13,000M. The
Security Company has now issued me a final notice of intent to provide his
next of kin or have the deposit confiscated and handed over to the
government having exceeded the agreed period of deposit.*
*Since I have been unsuccessful in locating any one who is related to him
all these while, i then decided to contact you to seek your consent to
present you as the next of kin of the deceased so that both of us can
retrieve the money from the Security Company and subsequently share it.*
*It may interest you to note that I have the necessary legal documents that
will be used to back up the claim. I expect you may wonder how he made all
this money. Well, he was dealing in Diamonds which he was sourcing from
Sierra Leone and neighboring Liberia during the period both countries were
at war. I can explain more of the details if you want me to.*
*Please, you will have to get back to me as soon as possible if you might
be interested so that we can discuss further. If you can give me a
telephone number to reach you, it will be faster.*
*Barrister Solomon Ezeh.*