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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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.)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Elizabeth Park Fowler" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 11 Oct 2009 15:19:27 -0700
I'm Ms. Elizabeth Park Fowler of Tampa, FL 33629., I'm a US citizen, I'm 51yrs
Old. I'm one of those that took part in the Compensation in Nigeria many years
ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid over $38,000 while in the US, trying
to get my payment all to no avail.
So I decided to travel down to Nigeria with all my compensation documents, And I
was directed to meet Barrister Ben Bruce, who is the member of COMPENSATION
AWARD AUTHORITY and a Human Rights Activist (Lawyer), and I contacted him and he
explained everything to me. He said whoever is contacting us through emails are
He took me to the paying bank for the claim of my Compensation payment. Right
now I'm the most happiest woman on earth because I have received my compensation
funds amounteing to $11,000,000.00 Moreover, Barrister Ben Bruce, showed me the
full information of those that are yet to receive their payments and I saw your
email as one of the scam victims, that is why I decided to email you to stop
dealing with those people, they are not with your fund, they are only making
money out of you. I will advise you to contact Barrister Ben Bruce
You have to contact him directly on this information below.
COMPENSATION AWARD AUTHORITY
Name : Barrister Ben Bruce (Legal Practitioner And Adviser)
You really have to stop dealing with those people that are contacting you and
telling you that your fund is with them, it is not in anyway with them, they are
only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing.
The only money I paid after I met Barrister Ben Bruce was just $250 for the
paper works, take note of that.
Thank You and Be Blessed.
Ms. Elizabeth Park Fowler (Elizabeth)
Trustee/Treasurer, Triad Foundation Inc.
1902 South Wykagyl Street
Tampa, FL USA. 33629
Education: BS, Business Administration