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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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.)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "certified bank draft" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 03:51:55 -0700
Subject: Please Contact Barrister Bryan For Your Draft $600.000.00
Please Contact Barrister Bryan For Your Draft $600.000.00
How are you today Hope all is well with you and your family I hope this mail meets you in a perfect condition.
You may not understand why this mail came to you. But if you do not remember me, you might have received an email from me
in the past regarding a multi-million-dollar business proposal which we never concluded.I am using this
opportunity to inform you that this multi-million-dollar business has been concluded with another person who financed
it to a logical conclusion.
I thank you for your great effort to our unfinished transfer offund into your account due to one reason or the
other best known to you.
But I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the fund out of the security company to my new
partner's account in London that was capable of assisting me in this great venture.
Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trustworthiness you showed during the course of the transaction I want to
compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of $600,000.00. I have left an international certified bank
draft for you worth about $600,000.00 cashable anywhere in the world.
My dear friend I will like you to contact Barr Bryan for the collection of this international certified bank draft have
authorized to release the international certified bank draft to you as soon as you contact him regarding this issue. the
moment, I'm very busy here because of the investment projects which myself my new partner are having at hand.
Please I will like you to accept comply with Barr Bryan so that he will send the draft to you without any delay.
CONTACT Barrister Bryan
ADDRESS 15 MillmarkGroove SE14 6RL, Lagos, Nigeria.
Groove SE14 6RL,
Therefore, you should send him your full Name and telephone numberyour address where you want him to send the draft to you.
Thanks and God bless you and your family. I am very busy now i may not reply to any email for some time.