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)
- "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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "lagos" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: Barrister Williams <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 2022 22:45:50 +0100
Subject: My Dear Friend,
*From Barrister I. Williams.Senior Advocate, International Legal
PractitionerWilliams chambers & Financial AttorneyPlot 112/25 Joint
crescent Victoria Island Lagos-Nigeria.My Dear Friend,It is with trust and
sincerity that I approach you for assistance totransfer some funds into
your bank account. Please do accept myapology if my mail infringes on your
personal ethics. My name isBarrister I. Williams. A Private Lawyer based
here in Lagos Nigeria.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,
acitizen of Pakistan who made a deposit of $20 million only with aBank here
in Nigeria a few years back. He died in a plane crash with hisimmediate
family in a plane crash without any registered next of kinand as such the
funds now have an open beneficiary mandate with aBank, This means that any
foreigner i present can act as thenext of kin of the deceased person for
claiming the inheritance fundswithout any risk involved.Moreso, I have
received official letter from the bank to provide nextof kin to my client
or suggesting a likely proceeding for confiscationof the Fund in line with
existing laws by the bank in which my clientdeposited the sum of $20
Million Dollars . According to the GovernmentLaw as provided in section 129
sub 63(N), Nigeria Banking Edit of 1961at the expiration of years the fund
will revert to the ownership ofthe Nigeria Government, if nobody applies to
claim the fund.My proposition to you is to present you to the bank as the
Next of kinand beneficiary of my deceased client so that the bank will pay
this$20 million to you so that we can share the amount on a mutuallyagreed
percentage of 50% for me 50% for you.All legal documents to back up your
claim as the deceased Next of Kinwill be provided by me. All I require is
your honest cooperation toenable us to see this transaction through. I
guarantee you that this willbe executed under a legitimate arrangement that
will protect you fromany breach of the law.If you are interested in these
transactions, Please do let me knowimmediately so that I can give you
comprehensive details on how toproceed.Regards,Barrister I Williams*