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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "clearance fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "tax clearance" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "tax clearance" (Tax offices mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. Even after you pay their fake tax demands you will still not receive the non-existent funds you have been promised. )
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned 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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- man to th name: barrister festus keyamo, san. email id: email@example.com private mobile:234-8058875754. use the above details to (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS S.JONES/TEXAS,USA." (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2011 01:56:52 -0800
Subject: PRIVATE/MRS JONES.
RE: Private Letter To You/Very Confidential---How you will receive your overdue funds from Nigeria.
Iam Mrs. Sylvania Jones, am a US citizen 53 years old and I reside in New Bromsfels,my residential address is,106 Crocket Court Apt 167,New Bromsfel Texas United States, am one of those that executed contract with the Nigerian Government years back and they refused to pay my funds after the completions of the contract by my firm of which i have spend well over US$100,000 while trying to receive my funds without result of which i nearly give up before luck smiled on me recently, I decided to travel to Nigeria with the help of our Embassy in Abuja and Lagos with all my contract/inheritance documents and details and i was directed by our Embassy to an Attorney in charge of contract/inheritance beneficiaries funds in the person of Barrister Festus Keyamo who is the Secretary of the Contract/Inheritance Awarding Committee hence i contacted him and he did explain everything to me, he told me point blank that those people contacting us through the email and telephone are mere frauds
ters and impostors who are only a
Why i have your email ID is because the attorney Barrister Festus Keyamo did showed to me the manifest and list of people like me which you are one of them that have not been paid as well that is why I decided to contact you privately as Christian so that you will urgently have to follow the same process and get your funds paid, am a living witness and i dont want those black morons to sit on your funds any longer hence this is a sisterly advice as a white like me, please I will advise you stop any dealings with those impostors because i have seen with my eyes and i have believe,only that gentleman will do the magic for you and him alone and mind you you dont need to travel to Nigeria like me, I acted like that because I was so desperate and it worked out, what you have to do is to secretly and privately contact the barrister as i will give you his details, plead with him to help you as he helped me hence you have to make reference of me, he will not charge you any fees at a
ll because he is a good man to th
Name: Barrister Festus Keyamo, SAN.
Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Use the above details to contact him today so that he will help you as he helped me, you really have to stop dealings with those scam impostors that are contacting you via email and telephone informing you of your funds while they dont know anything about it rather trying to take advantage of you by extorting you of money, I have misplaced the telephone number of barrister Keyamo hence i have only his email id in my box that is why i gave them to you but he will give you if you open up communications with him.
Note and be informed that what i paid through Barrister Festus Keyamo is only the sum of US$470 apart from my flight ticket and personal expenses which covers the cost for NRTC (Non Residence Tax Clearance Fees)is very mandatory that you will pay it and a receipt issued to that effect in my presence, take proper note of that because it is very necessary that you send it through him if you cannot travel to Nigeria as i did because of my desperate conditions.
Let me know when you have secured your funds as i did for a good thank you to me as i guided you.
Thank you and God bless.
Mrs. Sylvanna Jones.
Texas United States.