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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Badu Stephen <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2016 14:13:22 +0000
Subject: For Your Attention.
I am Stephen Badu, citizen of, Republic of Ghana. I had a client who was an independent gold dealer, he lived in Europe and died in Ghana but had businesses in Ghana and the Middle East.
He has a total of $18, 600,000.00 (Eighteen Million, Six Hundred Thousand Dollars) in a DORMANT account, held in Europe. I received official letters from the bank last week suggesting a likely proceeding for the confiscation of this abandoned personal asset.
On that note, I decided once more to search for a potential person who share the same last name with him (however distant). He had no wife, no children.
There by creating an avenue for claiming of the said funds on presentation of a trustworthy person that can stand as the Inheritor of the fund mentioned. I need your consent to present you as the Inheritor
To indicate your interest. Send reply, to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Barr. Stephen Badu