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:
- "i will advice you " (this email uses bad English)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "contract award committee" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Vivian Jones"<email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 2010 09:37:58 -0700
Subject: Very Important Information.
Dear: MA / SIR
I am Vivian Jones, I am a US citizen, 52 years Old. I reside here in Brooklyn New York. My residential address is as follows. 215 madison street brooklyn n.y 11216, United States. I am one of those that executed a contract in Nigeria years ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid over $35,000 trying to get my payment all to no avail.
So I decided to travel down to Nigeria with all my contract documents, And I was directed to meet Barrister Mark Wilfred, who is the member of CONTRACT AWARD COMMITTEE, and I contacted him and he explained everything to me.
He said that those people that are contacting us through emails are fake. Then he took me to the paying bank, which is Union Bank Nig. Plc, and I am the happiest woman on this earth because I have received my contract funds of
$3Million USD. Moreover, Barrister Mark Wilfred,showed me the full information of those that have not received their payment, and I saw your name as the
beneficiary, and your email address, that why i decided to email you and tell you to stop dealing with those people, they are not with your fund, they are only making money out of you. I will advice you to contact Barrister Mark Wilfred now.
You have to contact him direct on this information below.
Name Barrister Mark Wilfred
Office Address: 72 Marine Road, Apapa Lagos-Nigeria
You really have to stop dealing with those people that is contacting you and telling you that your fund is with them why your fund is not with them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing to eat.
The only money I paid was just $420 for IRS permit, which you know, So you have to take note of that. Once again stop contacting those people, i will advice you to contact Barrister Mark Wilfred so that he can help you to finalize your fund transfer instead of dealing with those liars that will be turning you around asking for different kind of money to complete your transfer.
Thank You and Be Blessed.
Mrs. Vivian Jones