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:
- "economic and financial crime commission" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister David Benson" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 23:11:46 -0700
Subject: URGENT CONTACT (PLZ READ. DON'T DELETE) SCRXXHLNFI
Funds Law Solicitors Chambers
URGENT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP
I am David Benson of Funds Claim Solicitors and David Benson Law firm respectively. I the Attorney to
Mr James Onanefe Ibori, a former governor of Delta State of Nigeria, who is presently facing a Financial
crime offence with the Economic and Financial Crime commission of Nigeria. I am contacting you for a
representation in assisting my client to claim and keep under your custody the sum of USD15.8M
which he deposited with a finance company. We have agreed to pay you 30% of the money.
Please get back to me for further details with the following informations:
Note: This is a serious business and you do not have to respond to me if you are not ready to work
Thanks for your acceptance!
Barrister David Benson.