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:
- "i will advice you " (this email uses bad English)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "contract award committee" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Darlene Grace" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2009 23:47:28 -0700
Subject: Contact Barrister For your fund Clearance today!!
I am Mrs. Darlene Grace, I am a US citizen, 68 years Old. I reside here in New Braunfels Texas. My residential address is as follows. 108 Crockett Court. Apt 303, New Braunfels Texas, United States.
I am one of those that executed a contract in Nigeria years ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid over $200,000 trying to get my payment all to no avail.
So I decided to travel down to Nigeria with all my contract documents, And I was directed to meet Barrister Levis Monk, who is the member of CONTRACT AWARD COMMITTEE,and I contacted him and he explained everything to me.
He said that those people that is contacting us through emails are fake. Then he took me to the paying bank, which is Skye Bank of Nigeria Plc, and I am the happiest woman on this earth because I have received my contract funds of $5 Million USD. Moreover, Barrister Levis Monk, showed me the full information of those that have not received their payment,and I saw your name as the beneficiary, and your email address, that why i decided to email you and tell you to stop dealing with those people,they are not with your fund, they are only making money out of you. I will advice you to contact Barrister Levis Monk Today!.
You have to contact him direct on this information below.
Name: Barr. Levis Monk.
You really have to stop dealing with those people that is contacting you and telling you that your fund is with them why your fund is not with them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing left to live on so i urge you to get in
touch with the Committee member now.
The only money I paid was just $520 for IRS permit, which you know, So you have to take note of that. Once again stop contacting those people, I will advice you to contact Barrister Levis Monk for him to help you finalize your fund transfer instead of dealing with those
liars that will be turning you around asking for different kind of money to complete your transfer.
Thank You and Be Blessed.
Mrs. Darlene Grace.