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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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.)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "email@example.com" (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. Betty Ruth Hartxell" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 2 Jul 2011 06:29:39 +0100
Subject: Good Day !!!
I am Mrs. Betty Ruth Hartxell, I am a US citizen, 48 years Old. i reside at 6920 Mirador Way Sacramento, California 95828-3317 U.S.A. I am one of those that took part in the Compensation many years ago in Africa. I had paid over $17,000 usd while in the US, trying to get my payment all to no avail.
So I decided to travel down to Nigeria with all my compensation documents and I was directed to Barrister Tella Stephen, who happens to be a human right activist and also a legal Practitional of the COMPENSATION AWARD COMMITTEE. I contacted him and he explained to me in details that whosoever is contacting through emails are fake.
He took me to the paying bank for the claim of my Compensation Inheritance payment. And right now i am the most happiest on earth because I received my compensation sum of $1,500,000.00. Moreover, i was showed the full information list of those that are yet to receive their right. fortunately, your e-mail was addressed on that list, Which was the MAIN reason for this message.
Get in touch with Mr Tella Stephen directly on his informations below.
COMPENSATION AWARD HOUSE
Name : Barrister Tella Stephen
Phone Number.. +234-806 061 7554
NOTE: Whom to contact is Mr. Tella Stephen for clearance paper works and other Documentations, Take note.
Here is my Tracking Number to my package deliverd as for you to confirm.
Name: Mrs. Betty Ruth Hartxell
Tracking Number: 1426073504
i'll advise you to Stop all transactions.
Thank You and Be Blessed.
Mrs. Betty Ruth Hartxell