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)
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister William Kafa" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2010 21:10:50 +0100
Subject: Awaiting your reply.
FROM THE DESK OF BARRISTER WILLIAM KAFA
OCEANIC BANK OF NIGERIA PLC,
BANK LAWYER .
Notification of payment by Telegraphic Wire Transfer
We hereby officially notifying you about the present arrangement to pay you, your
over due Winning Prize/inheritance fund which you could not complete the process of
the released of your transfer pin code through the Digitalized Payment System. We
have decided to pay your funds through (Telegraphic Wire Transfer) This arrangement
was initiated/constituted by the World Bank, United Nation and Paris Club, due to
fraudulent activities going on within the world.
The World Bank and Paris Club introduced this payment arrangement as to enable our
Contract ,Winning Prize, inheritance beneficiary to receive their fund without any
interference. The Telegraphic Wire Transfer was contracted and powered by World
Reconfirm the following information to us for Security reason.
1)YOUR FULL NAME:
2)YOUR RECEIVING ADDRESS:
3)YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER:
5) YOUR AGE:
Upon the receipt of this mail I will give you the direction on how you will write
your application to the remittance department for them to proceed on the procession
of your Transfer so you absolutely have nothing to worry about all we need is your
Prompt Response and Co-operation by Gods Grace we will have a successful
As soon as I receive your reply I will help you write an application you will have to
forward to the bank for the release of your funds.
CONGRATULATIONS IN ADVANCE.
BARRISTER WILLIAM KAFA.
OCEANIC BANK OF NIGERIA PLC,