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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (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)
- "barrister" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Fred Wilson" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2022 22:13:39 +0100
Subject: FROM Barrister Evans Thomas
Dear Friend ,
I hope that all is well with you and your entire household and you're
not affected by this deadly pandemic in any way? My prayers will
continue to protect your Family.
It is obvious that this proposal will come to you as a surprise.This
is because we have not met before but I am inspired to sending you
this email following the huge fund transfer opportunity that will be
of mutual benefit to the two of us.
However, I am Barrister Evans Thomas Esq. Attorney to the late Engr
Ronald Johnson, a national of Northern American, who used to work with
Shell Petroleum Development Company(SPDC) in Nigeria. On the 11th of
November,2008. My client,his wife And their three children were
involved in a car accident along Sagamu/Lagos Express Road.
Unfortunately they all lost their lives in the event of the accident,
Since then I have made several inquiries to several Embassies to
locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has also proved
After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to trace his
relatives over the Internet to locate any member of his family but to
no avail, hence I contacted you to assist in repatriating the money
and property left behind by my client,I can easily convince the bank
with my legal practice that you are the only surviving relation of my
client.Otherwise the Estate he left behind will be confiscated or
declared unserviceable by the bank where this huge deposits were
lodged.Particularly, the Bank where the deceased had an account valued
at about $15 million U.S dollars(Fifteen million U.S.America dollars).
Consequently,The bank issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or
have the account confiscated within the next ten official working
days. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for
over several years now.I seek your consent to present you as the next
of kin to the deceased,so that the proceeds of this account valued at
$15million U.S dollars can be paid to your account and then you and i
can share the money. 60% to me and 40% to you.
All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this project
through and also forward the following to me: i am waiting your
reply to my Email: EvansThomas2@firemail.de
Your Full Names:
Your House Address:
Your Tele-phone And Fax No:
Your Age and Gender :
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement
that will protect you from any breach of the law.
Barrister Evans Thomas