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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal high court" (This court is often mentioned in '419' scams to give the victim a reason why he/she should send thousands of dollars to the scammers. A 'Federal High Court' exists in Germany and Nigeria, but not in other countries, such as the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Senegal, Benin, South Africa or other countries where fake lawyers in scams often claim to be based. )
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: GEORGE MORGAN <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 5 Mar 2023 11:24:33 +0100
Subject: ATTN.SIR/MA,PLEASE IS IT TRUE,THAT YOU ARE DEAD OF CORONAVIRUS?I wait
to hear from you if you are still alive,URGENT,FROM BARRISTER G.MORGAN,THANKS.
>From Barrister George Morgan
Chief Legal Practitioner
Hassan & Chambers
21/ Diobo Street Port Harcourt Rivers State
I am Barrister George Morgan who practice at Port Harcourt Rivers State
Nigeria,I want to use this opportunity to alert what is going on with your
file when ever I traveled to the Federal high court Abuja, in this case I
obligate to ask if you are dead or alive, because each time I travel to
Abuja your file always goes from one table to another with one Swiss
man who has been trying to sign an agreement with the Federal high
court that he is your next of kin, please is that true? Because I left
Abuja on Friday when he was having a conclusion meeting with the chief
justice for the final approval by Friday this week.
Please if you are still alive and want me to work with you,do get back to me
immediately for immediate cancellation of this Approval by Friday
because nothing is holding your contract payment as I have come about your
contract validation file you have concluded and paid all charges, so
nothing is holding your contract fund to be in your nominated bank
account by the
paying bank OK.
I wait to hear from you if you are still alive.
Barrister George Morgan,
TEL NO:+234 7065864763/WHATS APP.