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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "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.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Sarah Hanes" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2010 14:23:05 +0300
Subject: To Whom It May Concern
UNITED NATION COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
IN AFFILIATION WITH IMF
From: Special Envoy to Secretary-General BAN KI-MOON
This is to bring to your notice that we are delegated from the UNITED NATIONS with the International Monetory Fund(IMF) to pay 50 victims whom has being Victims of Internet scam, The United Nations has decided to pay out $900,000 USD (Nine Hundred Thousand Dollars) each.. You are listed and approved for this payment as each of the scammed victims to be paid this amount.
Sir/Madam I will like you to contact the finance house for the collection of this international certificated bank draft. The name and contact address of The Person with your Cheque is Barrister. Raymond Joseph.
Send a copy of your response to official email:
SECURITY & FINANCIAL CONTACT AGENT: Barrister. Raymond Joseph
CELL PHONE: +234-8038659174
You are advised to send your communication particulars,
You are advised to forward this information to the above office for payment release of your compensation. the only money you are to pay Barrister Raymond Joseph is just $250 for the paper works, take note of that.
As soon as you contact him he will send you the payment information which you are to use in sending the payment to him in order for him to obtain the document from the court of law there in Nigeria so that your fund can be transfer to you without any delay.
Fill Out the information to him if you are ready to get your fund and also ready to make the payment.
Once again stop contacting any person or firm, contact Barrister Raymond Joseph so that he can help you to Transferu your fund instead of dealing with those liars that will be turning you around asking for different kind of money to complete your transaction.
NOTICE: PLEASE DISREGARD THIS MAIL IF YOU ARE NOT AMONG THE SCAM VICTIMS
Mrs. Sarah Hanes
Secretary United Nations
General Ban Ki-Moon.
( Financial officer )United Nations...