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)
- "consignment " (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)
- "i will advice you " (this email uses bad English)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "contract award committee" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Abigail Johnson" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2010 06:15:12 +0300
Subject: The Truth About Your Funds !!!
I am Mrs. Abigail Johnson, I am a Canada citizen, 45 years Old. I reside here in Ontario Canada. My residential address is as follows. 2 AbbeyDale Court Kingston, Ontario Canada.K7K-5W9.
I am one of those that executed NNPC CONTRACT in Nigeria years ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid over $25,000.00 trying to get my payment all to no avail.
So I decided to travel down to Nigeria with all my NNPC CONTRACT DOCUMENTS, And I was directed to meet Barrister Davis Brown, who is the member of the NNPC CONTRACT AWARD COMMITTEE, and I contacted him and he explained everything to me.
He said that those people that is contacting us are fraudsters and that they have raised eyes brow over our funds. Then he took me to the paying bank, which is UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA (UBA), and I am the happiest woman on this earth because I have received my NNPC CONTRACT funds of $5Million USD. Moreover, Barrister Davis Brown, showed me the information of those that have not received their payment, and I saw your name as the beneficiary on the NNPC CONTRACT AWARD CERTIFICATE Or rather a COMPENSATION FUNDS in your name including your email address, that is why I have decided to email you and tell you to contact Barrister Davis Brown so that he can help you to get your fund transfer into your bank account.
I will advice you to stop dealing with those people, they are not with your fund, they are only making money out of you, the only person that can help you to get your Funds/Consigbment released into your bank account is Barrister Davis Brown, quickly contact him now for your Funds/Consignment of $5Million USD.
You have to contact him direct on this information below.
Name: Mr. Davis Brown (Lawyer).
Office Address: 13, Cole Street, Ikeja Lagos Nigeria.
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 to eat. I will advice you now to contact Barrister Davis Brown so that he can help you to finalize your fund transfer instead of dealing with those liars that will be turning you around asking you for different kind of money to complete your transfer.
Thank You and God Blessed.
Mrs. Abigail Johnson
2 AbbeyDale Court Kingston, Ontario Canada.K7K-5W9.