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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Ruizena Santiago" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2010 15:11:49 -0400
Subject: Contact Barrister Paul Michael And Stop Contacting Those.
My name is Mrs. Ruizena Santiago,; I am a US citizen, 49 years Old. I reside. I live at 3775 Oleander Dr Highland, Ca 92346,United States, am thinking of moving since I am now wealthy. I am one of those that took part in the Compensation in Nigeria many years ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid over $42,000 while in the US, trying to get my payment all to no avail.
So I decided to travel down to Nigeria with all my compensation documents, and I was directed to meet Mr. Paul Michael , who is the member of COMPENSATION AWARD COMMITTEE 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 took me to the paying bank for the claim of my Compensation payment. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth because I have received my compensation funds amounting to $1.500,000.00 Moreover, Mr.Paul Michael, showed me the full information of those that are yet to receive their payments and I saw your email as one of the scam victims, 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 out of you. I will advise you to contact :Mr. Paul Michael .
You have to contact him directly on this information below.
COMPENSATION AWARD HOUSE
Name: Mr. Paul Michael (Barrister)
Email: : email@example.com
New Africa House (12th Floor), 31 Marina, Lagos Island, Lagos
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 Mr. Paul Michael was just $370 for the paper works take note of that.
Thank You and Be Blessed.
Mrs. Ruizena Santiago,
3775 Oleander Dr Highland Ca 92346,USA.