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:
- "a security company " (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.)
- "barr." (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: "Elaine Farrell of Hansa Law Offices Gonsiori 7, Tallinn Estonia. Phone: +372 5499 5636" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2023 04:32:35 +0100
Subject: REQUEST FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE..
I am Barrister Elaine Farrell, the personal lawyer to the late Mr late
Steven Vandersande, a Dutchman who was a consultant with Shell Estonia LTD
here in Tallinn, who shall be referred to as my associate. Unfortunately
my late client lost his life in a plane crash MH17 on the 17th of July 2014
during one of his trips from the Netherlands (Amsterdam) to Malaysia (Kuala
Lumpur), and my late client left no clear beneficiary to the fund deposited
with a Security Company as beneficiary except some vital documents related
to the deposit that is still with me.
All efforts by me to trace his relative have proven abortive because he did
not make any will prior to his death. After my several unsuccessful
attempts to locate any member of his family hence I contacted you.
I want to present you as the beneficiary to receive the money left behind
by my associate before they get confiscated or declared unclaimed by the
finance company where this huge sum was deposited. Especially now that the
finance company where the deceased had the said fund valued at 15.5M only
has issued me a notice to provide the heir.
Consequently upon this, my idea is that we can have an agreement and I am
going to do this legally with your name as the bonafide beneficial of the
amount in question as I have all legal document to back our claim, I seek
your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased so that the
proceeds of this account valued at 15.5M to be paid to your account abroad
installmentally. Note that our sharing pattern will be 50/40 and 10 percent
transfer charges deductible from the fund on or before transfer.
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that
will protect you from any breach of the law, all I need from you is your
ultimate collaboration and sincerity for us to thrive in this deal. Please
get back to me if you are ready to assist me.
Barr. Elaine Farrell.
Phone: +372 5499 5636