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.
- 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:
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Manuel Martin <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2023 06:57:31 -0700
Subject: Good day
Before I proceed, I must first apologize for this unsolicited mail to you.
I am aware that this is certainly not a conventional way of approach to
establish a relationship of trust, but you will realize the need for my
action. My name is Mr. Manuel Martin, a solicitor and partner with Manuel
Martin Abogados/ Law chambers Spain. Actually, I got your contact
information through public records while searching for a last name similar
to my late client Mrs Ing Cari , an expatriate engineer who worked with the
Inmet Mining Corporation for thirteen years. He died along with his family
during the Sichuan Tsunami catastrophe, which occurred on May 12 2008 in
Before his death, he deposited the sum of â¬4,750.000 (FOUR MILLION SEVEN
HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND EUR ONLY) with one of the banks here in Spain,
but the money was deposited in an insurance coded account with insurance
premium for security reasons. The bank has mandated me to present any
family heir/inheritor for claim before the money gets confiscated or
reverted to the Bank treasury as an unclaimed fund. So I decided to search
for any of my late client's relative which has been very difficult for me,
as he did not declare any other person, address, partner or relatives in
the official paper works of his fund deposit.
Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I will like you as a
foreigner to stand as the next of kin since you both have the same last
name, so that the money will be released to you. With my position as his
lawyer, I will now place your name as the next of kin to my late client. I
will prepare every relevant document that will assist your claims, and
facilitate the release and transfer of the money to your bank account.
Note that this transaction is 100% risk free. There is no atom of risk in
connection to this business as I have worked out all modalities to complete
the transaction successfully. Once the money is released to you, we shall
share in the ratio of 50% for me, 50% for you as your benefit. Reply via my
private email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can call my
private line: +34 610 314 183 for further clarification. Please be kind to
get back to me if you are not interested so that I can further my search
for another partner.