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:
- "chambers" (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.
- 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.
- +447024032704 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +447092882108 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Duncan A. Barnet (Esq.)" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 15:31:14 -0000
Subject: YOUR URGENT ATTENTION IS NEEED URGENTLY!
Duncan Law Chambers
Oakhill House 130, Tonbridge Road,
Hilden Borough, Tonbridge,
Ken TN11 9DZ
London United Kingdom
Tel +44 7024032704
I am Duncan A. Barnet (Esq.).A personal attorney to the late Mr. Michael Blair
who worked with the Shell British Petroleum .Michael Blair a well known
Philanthropist, before he died, he made a Will in our law firm stating that
(Twelve Million Five Hundred Thousand U.S. Dollars only) should be donated to
any Philanthropist or any Orphanage home or any charitable organization of our
We have made our random draw and your e-mail address was picked to receive this
fund as the beneficiary of his Will. Kindly get back to me as soon as you are in
receipt of my mail to enable me tell you what next to do to receive this fund
Mr.Duncan A. Barnet