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:
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Charles Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2012 08:18:45 +0100
Subject: INVESTMENT INVITATION
I am sorry I am writing you this mail, through this medium,please pardon me, it is due to the urgency.I am Charles Williams, a solicitor in the law
chambers of Mr.Bhadresh Gohil here in London UK.We handled financial transactions of a Governor in one of the Africa`s richest Oil producing states.
The deals which includes properties and Investments in UK and other places amounted to the tune of over $350m. Unfortunately, he fell out with some
people who exposed his transactions in UK and subsequently he was arrested in UAE and extradited to UK where he was tried and jailed for 13 years. My
senior partner, Mr. Bhadresh Gohil was also jailed for 10 years including others who are related to the Ex-Governor.
When this started, Mr. Gohil advised that we should move some of the funds and I was able to move just $15M before the police swooped on us and seized
everything including my traveling documents and placed some of us on surveillance. I left this fund in the care of an aide of a big contact because
they were in London at that time. Now, I am pleading with you to assist me in collecting this fund for investments which shall be managed by you based
on agreed terms and conditions.The fund was comfortably moved to Ghana and you will be required to visit Ghana for the collection.Please do not treat
this mail with levity, I hereby include a newspaper article on the issue so that you will understand. :http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/the-
cashier-at-a-diy-store-who-became-745487. As soon as i receive your response, I will furnish you with all the necessary details.