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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "@lawyer.com" (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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS MARY WALSH" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2010 20:33:35 -0300
Subject: MRS MARY WALSH (YOUR SCAM SOLUTION)
I am Mrs. Mary Walsh, am a US citizen, 59 years Old. I stay here in Alaska. My residential address is as follows. 11120 Glacier Hwy,Juneau city, Alaska, United State.
I am one of those that was on pending beneficiary in Nigeria years ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid over $10,000 trying to get my payment all to no avail.
So I decided to travel down to Nigeria with all my beneficiary funds documents, And I was directed to meet Barrister Michael Enyesiobi Esq, who is the member of FUND REWARDING COMMITTEE, and I contacted him so he explained everything to me.
Then he took me to the paying bank to collect my money and now am the happiest woman on this earth because I have received my beneficiary funds money of $1.5Million USD. Moreover, Barrister Michael Enyesiobi Esq, showed me the full information of those that have not received their payment, and I saw your contact as one of the beneficiary, and your email address and your funds details,This is what you have to do now. You have to contact him direct on this information below.
His Name: Barrister Michael Enyesiobi Esq
You really have to stop your dealing with those contacting you concerning your Bank Draft AND ATM Card okay, because they will dry you up until you have nothing to eat. The only money i payed is just $250 for the IRS fee which is known as INTERNATIONAL REGISTRATION SERVICE, So you have to take note of that. I advice you to stop what so ever you are doing with anybody and contact the barrister for your funds release to you. I saw your contact but have been so busy with my new house in Hawaii that is why i have not gotten back to you all this while. My Dear Contact the Barrister if you want to collect your fund.
Thank You and Be Blessed.
Mrs. Mary Walsh.