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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "keep this confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal high court" (This court is often mentioned in '419' scams to give the victim a reason why he/she should send thousands of dollars to the scammers. A 'Federal High Court' exists in Germany and Nigeria, but not in other countries, such as the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Senegal, Benin, South Africa or other countries where fake lawyers in scams often claim to be based. )
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Justice Orafu" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2011 22:08:13 -0700
Subject: ATTN BENEFICIARY(FROM THE DESK OF BARRISTER JUSTICE ORAFU)
I have been waiting for you since to come down here and pick your Bank Draft but did not heard from you since that time then I went and deposited the Draft with INTERNATIONAL Bank Plc here in Benin Republic, because I travelled to Japan to see my boss and will not come back till next month end unless if he permit's me. I have arranged with them to make your payment to you, through bank to bank wire transffer. I will advise you to stop any further communication with any one who claims he can help you get your fund.You have to contact the International Bank Plc with your full contact informations such as follows.
Though they have your information with them which i submited to them, but will still want you to recomfirm it to them to know if you are the rightfull owner of the deposited fund.
1. FULL NAME
2. ACCOUNT WERE YOU WANT THEM TO SEND THE FUND
3 PHONE /CELL PHONE AND FAX NUMBER
4. YOUR AGE AND CURRENT OCCUPATION
5. ATTACH COPY OF YOUR IDENTIFICATION
However, Kindly contact the below person who is in position to release
REV DR.FRANK JOHN DIRECTOR
FUND PAYMENT DEPARTMENT ZENITH INTERNATIONL BANK
I have paid for the processing charges.The only Money that you are going to pay to them is only $820 which they will use to obtain the Affidevit Of Onwership from the Federal High Court Of Benin Republic. So Try to contact them and ask them how you will send the $820 to receive your fund,please do urgent and contact them as soon as possible to quicken the processing of your fund before your draft gets Expired . Let me know as soon as you receive your fund.
ESQ. Justice Orafu
NOTE: YOU ARE ADVISE TO KEEP THIS CONFIDENTIAL AS IT WILL HELP YOU A LOT