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:
- "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.)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "cotonou" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barr. Jacques Hans" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2018 15:47:00 +0100
Subject: Re: Re: Money Transfer Notice.
Shammah Chambers & Associetes
Counselors At Law
Avocat 04 BP 551, Cotonou,
Industrial Quatier Des Elites, Republique du Benin
Attn: My Friend,
This is to informed you that I got your details from my client Mr. Mikhail Fridman from Russia who have selected you specifically as one of his beneficiaries for his Charitable Donation of $800,000.00 Dollars.
With regards to the mention matter, I act as solicitors to Mr. Mikhail Fridman (hereinafter referred to as my client) and due to his busy schedule, he couldn't handle this project directly and I was instructed,to make you the beneficiary of the said funds with a bank here in Republic of Benin and you can read more about my client by checking the link below for confirmation should in case you don't know him:
I await your earliest response as to enable me give you full details on how to claim your donation.
I also found out that some internet element has abused the legality of this humble letter so in case you may have receive similar letter from those scammer please forward it to me as I wait to urgent reply.
Anticipating your message as soon as possible.
Barr. Jacques Hans(Esq.)