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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Alice Hall" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 8 May 2010 09:01:24 +0600
Subject: Dear Friend,
I am Mrs Alice Hall. I am a US citizen and i am 48 years Old. I reside
here in 1051 Site Dr.Brea, CA 92821 USA. and i am thinking of relocating
since I am now rich.
I am one of those that took part in the United Nations Compensation
program in Nigeria many years ago and they refused to pay me. I had paid
over $20,000 while in the US, trying to get my payment but all was to no
So I decided to travel down to Nigeria with all my compensation documents,
And I was directed to meet Barrister Mark Edward, who is the member of
COMPENSATION AWARD AUTHORITY and a Human Rights Activist (Lawyer), and I
contacted him and he explained everything to me. He said whoever is
contacting us through emails are fake.
He said who ever is contacting us through emails are fake. he also took me
to the paying bank (United Bank Of Africa) for the claim of my
Right now, I am the happiest woman on earth because I have received my
compensation funds of $5,000,000.00 more over, Barrister Mark Edward showed
me the full information of those that are yet to receive their payments
and i saw your email as one of the beneficiaries who have not yet received
the payment under CASE FILE 54AC003 and that is why I decided to email you
to stop dealing with those people.
They are not with your fund, they are only making money off you.
Therefore, i would advise you to contact Barrister Mark Edward for
assistance and inform him that your CASE FILE is 54AC003. Contact him
directly via the information below.
Name : Barrister Mark Edward
Phone: +234-7056-674-177 or 011-234-7056-674-177
You are hereby advised to contact Barrister Mark Edward with the following
1. Your Names in full.
2. Your Occupation.
3. your Residential Address.
4. Your Place and date of birth.
5. Your Telephone and fax Number
You really have to stop dealing with those people that are contacting you
and telling you that your fund is with them, it is not in anyway with
them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until
you have nothing.
The only money I paid after I met Barrister Mark Edward was just $350 for
the paper works, take note of that.
Thank You and Be Blessed.
Mrs Alice Hall
Trustee/Treasurer, Triad Foundation Inc.
1051 Site Dr.Brea, CA 92821 USA
Education: BS, Business Administration