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:
- "million us dollars" (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)
- "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 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" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2011 16:57:50 +0530
Subject: The truth About Your Funds.- Call +234-8029508654
Attn: My Dear,
I am Mrs. Abigail Johnson, I am a US citizen, 41 years Old. My residential address is as follows.5424 Pentridge Street Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19143-4126, United States, I am one of those that took part in the Compensation in Nigeria many years ago and they refused to pay me, I have paid over $58,000 while in the US, trying to get my payment all to no avail.
So I decided to travel to WASHINGTON D.C with all my compensation documents, And I was directed by the ( F B I) Director to contact Barrister Billy James, who is a representative of the ( F B I ) and a member of the COMPENSATION AWARD COMMITTEE, currently in Nigeria.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 most happiest woman on earth because I have received my compensation funds of $1.5 Million Us Dollars Moreover, Barrister Billy James, showed me the full information of those that are yet to receive their payments and I saw your E-mail as one of the beneficiaries, 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 Barrister Billy James.
You have to contact him directly on this information below.
COMPENSATION AWARD HOUSE
Name : Barrister Billy James
Telephone Number: +234-8029508654
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 Barrister Billy James was just $390 for the paper works, take note of that.
Once again stop contacting those people, I will advise you to contact Barrister Billy James so that he can help you to Deliver your fund instead of dealing with those liars that will be turning you around asking for different kind of money to complete your transaction.
Thank You and Be Blessed.
Mrs. Abigail Johnson
5424 Pentridge Street
States Of America