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:
- "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)
- "% will be for you" (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: "From: Barrister Brenda Owen" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "From: Barrister Brenda Owen" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2023 16:34:14 +0100
Subject: Urgent: From Barrister Brenda Owen Do Get Back To Me?
I am Barrister Brenda Owen, A solicitor at law. I am the Personal Attorney to Engr. Reeves. W. John. On October 5,1999, my client was involved in a train crash near Paddington Station,which is less than a mile north of Notting Hill. This is one of Britain's worst train crashes in fifty years.You can see the web of the incident.
I have contacted you to assist me, in repatriating most especially, the money left behind by my late client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this deposit is lodged, valued at 18 million dollars, which has issued me a notice to provide the Next of kin to my late client, or have the account confiscated. Since there is a government gazette/circular mandating/authorizing banks to place onhold or freeze any account containing huge sums of money that has been unserviceable for a reasonable period of time.This is geared towards forestalling capital flight from the economy.
My proposition to you, is to seek your consent to present you as the Next of kin and beneficiary of my named client,so that the proceeds of this account valued at 18 million Dollars can be paid to you, and then we can share the amount on a mutually agreed percentage.30% will be for you, 65% for me, 5% is earmarked for expenses that will be incurred during the process of Transfer of the fund.
All legal documents to back up your claim as the deceased Next of Kin, will be provided.All I require is your honest co-operation to enable us see this transaction through. This will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.
PLEASE ON YOUR REPLY.DO SEND ME THE FOLLOWING DETAILS.
8.BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF COMPANY/INDIVIDUAL , IF ANY.___________
It is very important you reply me via my direct contact: Looking Forward to hear from you soon,
Barrister Brenda Owen