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:
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: " Barrister Johnson Ben" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 14 May 2010 03:07:46 -0700
Subject: CONTACT MY SCRETARY FOR YOUR COMPENSATION OF ($2.5millionusd)
I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred under the cooperation of a new partner from paraguay.
Presently I'm in Paraguay for the new investment projects with my own share of the total sum. meanwhile,I didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in transferring those funds despite that it failed.
Now contact my secretary in benin Repuclic for your own shere of the compesetion, his name is Mr GODWIN JOHN E-mail ( email@example.com) ask him to send you the total sum of ($2.5millionusd) which I kept for your compensation for all the past efforts and attempts you made to assist me.
I appreciated your all efforts at that time so feel free and get in touch with my secretary Mr GODWIN JOHN and instruct him where to send the amount to you.
With best regards.
Barrister Johnson Ben