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)
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- "hundred thousand us dollars" (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.)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
- 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.
- +447045737559 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Claims Department" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2010 14:05:27 -0300
I am happy to inform you about my success in getting your winning funds under the cooperation of a new partner from South Africa. Presently I'm in South Africa for investment projects with my own share of the total sum. Meanwhile,I did not forget your past efforts and attempts to get your winnings despite that failed somehow.
I have made a deposit of $500.000.00 (FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS)in addition to your lottery winnings of $800.000.00 now amounting to $1,3million (One million Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars)with the Rev.Thomas Anderson.
Now contact the Barrister Fez Ilaye ,Find below his contact information.
LICUTION DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION & FINANCE.
NAME: Barrister Fez Ilaye
Ask him to send you the total $1,3million (One million Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars)certified bank Cheque, which I raised in your favor for your compensation for all the past efforts and attempt in this matter.I really appreciated your efforts at that time.
Secondly, you are hereby advised to stop dealing with some non-officials in the bank as this is an illegal act.You have to stop if you so wish to receive your payment immediately. After the board meeting held at our headquarters, we have resolved in finding a solution to your last unclaimed problem.
So feel free and get in touch with Barrister Fez Ilaye and give him your address where to send the draft to you.
Please do let me know immediately you receive the Cheque to enable us share the joy after all the stress at that time.
In the moment, I'm very busy here because of the investment projects, which the new partner and me are having at hand,finally, remember that I had forwarded instruction to Barrister Fez Ilaye without any delay.