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)
- ",500,000" (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.)
- "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: Thu, 12 Jan 2012 16:07:29 +0100
FROM THE DESK OF BARRISTER WILLIAM KAFA
OCEANIC BANK OF NIGERIA PLC,
BANK LAWYER .
Notification of payment by Telegraphic Wire Transfer
I hereby officially notifying you about the present arrangement to pay you, your Winning Prize/inheritance fund usd$5,500,000.00 which you could not complete the process of
the released of your transfer pin code through the Digitalized Payment System. The Oceanic Bank Plc 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 beneficiary to receive their fund without any interference. The Telegraphic Wire Transfer was contracted and powered by World Bank.
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 your reply, I will help you to write and submit payment application to the remittance department for them to proceed on the procession
of your Transfer.
CONGRATULATIONS IN ADVANCE.
BARRISTER WILLIAM KAFA.
OCEANIC BANK OF NIGERIA PLC,