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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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. )
- "million united states 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.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister. Tan." (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2022 12:48:22 -0700
Subject: From The Desk of Barrister Anuman Tan,
From The Desk of Barrister Anuman Tan,
Anuman Tan & Associate Chambers
37 Sathorn Tai Road,
Please kindly accept my apology for sending unsolicited mail to you, I believe you are a highly respected personality considering the fact that I sourced your profile from a human resource profile database in your country. Though, I do not know to what extent you are familiar with events.
Well, I am Barrister Anuman Tan, a Solicitor. I am the Personal Attorney to one investor name (withheld at the moment) a foreigner who used to own a company in Thailand. On the 21st of April 2003, with his wife and two children were involved in a car accident along Sukhumvit Express Road in Bangkok Thailand.
Unfortunately, they all lost their lives in the event of the accident. Since then, I have made several enquiries to locate any of my client's relatives, which was unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, hence, I contacted you to assist in repatriating the money left behind by my late client in a Finance house, the Finance House where the deceased deposited some of US$17 Million (seventeen Million United States Dollars only).
The finance house has issued me a notice to provide the (Next of Kin) of my late client to claim the money in their custody within the next three months, it is the law that if such fund remains unclaimed after ten years, it will be automatically be transferred into the government account as an unclaimed fund.
To avoid the fund going to the government account as an unclaimed fund, I decided to seek your consent to present your name to the finance house as a relative to my late client to have the fund transferred into your account in your country.
Upon receiving the fund into your account, we will share the money in this order: 70% will be for me, 30% of the total amount will be for you. As the attorney of my late client, I have all the necessary legal documents that can back our claim from the Finance House.
All I require of you is your honest co-operation to enable us to see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law, if you are interested in partnering with me, I will give you more info about the project before we proceed with the finance house. Thank you.
Barrister Anuman Tan (Esq).