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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "consignment " (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.)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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: "George William" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2011 11:54:47 -0700
Subject: YOUR OVERDUE FUND TRANSACTIONS / TF1
Please I will like to know if you have hired Attorney John Palmer as your representative towards the collection of your Inheritance with the deposit company. Because am corresponding to the false Email claims I daily receive from Attorney John Palmer. That you have requested and hired his services as your representative Attorney to make the collection of your $1.5Million USD inheritance estate cheque funds collection.
I will not oblige to his request, the reason is because you have not personally notify me about his coming and also after making consultations with the law suit Chamber he claimed he represent. I was told such name do not exist with the law firm either in the past or present. Without wasting much time, I have taken your cheque inheritance collection to the finance ministry to de-activate the Encrypted code been placed on it by your benefactor. All this activity was done by me last week to enable me conclude the final phase of your transaction with the finance ministry.
Meanwhile, I have received response from the Deposits company that they have received your package collection Friday last week at about 14:00 GMT.Because they were the issuing bank deposits company that notify me earlier that you have a package collection consignment for pick up as bestowed in the will document papers of late Rev Father James. Elias who issued you this $1.5Million USD payment cheque in your name. So as the attorney to the deceased I was out-rightly informed about your collections which prompt me to take decisive actions immediately by following what was stated in his will papers.
Once again, I hope and pray you use your Inheritance collection payment as issued to you wisely by investing with it and paying One tenth of it as your tithe to any Red Cross society or orphanage homes near you in helping a soul today.
Furthermore, your compliance towards this E-mail is highly anticipated, to enable the deposit company remit your inheritance payment cheque to you immediately, thank you.
I really want to know your stands on this matter before I pull OFF.
Barrister George Williams.
Legal Consultant on Mortgage Equity and Financial network.