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:
- "barrister" (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.
- 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 (Yahoo, China; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Alice Hall" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2011 08:03:34 +0100
Subject: YOUR CASE FILE is 54AC003
I am Mrs Alice Hall, I am a US citizen, 48 years Old. I reside here in Denton, Texas. My residential address is as follows.#38 Wellington Oaks Cir, Denton, TX, United States, am thinking of relocating since I am now comfortable with my family. I am one of those that took part in the United Nations Compensation program in Nigeria many years ago and they refused to pay me.
I had paid over $20,000 while in the US, trying to get my payment but all was to no avail. So I decided to travel down to Nigeria with all my compensation documents, And I was directed to meet Barrister Mark Edward, who is the member of COMPENSATION AWARD AUTHORITY and a Human Rights Activist (Lawyer), and I contacted him and he explained everything to me. He said whoever is contacting us through emails are fake.
He said who ever is contacting us through emails are fake. he also took me
to the paying bank (INTER-MERCHANT SECURITY BANK) for the claim of my
Right now, I am the happiest woman on earth because I have received my
compensation funds of $850,000.00 moreover, Barrister Mark Edward showed
me the full information of those that are yet to receive their payments
and i saw your email as one of the beneficiaries who have not yet received
the payment under CASE FILE 54AC003 and 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 off you.
Therefore, i would advise you to contact Barrister Mark Edward for
assistance and inform him that your CASE FILE is 54AC003. Contact him
directly via the information below.
Name : Barrister Mark Edward
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 Mark Edward was just $250 for
the paper works, take note of that.
Thank You and Be Blessed.
Mrs. Alice Hall.
Trustee/Treasurer, Triad Foundation Inc.
38 Wellington Oaks Cir, Denton, TX, United States