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)
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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.)
- 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.Mary Okok" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2012 15:08:10 -0400
Subject: Compliments of the day and God's blessings
Compliments of the day and God's blessings
I am glad to inform you that I have been heal and successfully concluded the transaction, the money transferred to London. It is done through the assistant of your country man Mr.Howard Ferraro who is a London base business man. Currently I am in Italy However, I did not forget you because you are the source of my success, you made me what I am now though you are not there to complete this project with me but I gave all the credit and thanks to you. I know it is not your fault or rather your wish to back up on me and the transaction ,I understand it is simply because of what you must have heard about my country and her business opportunities. Actually there are still good ones for example myself.
In appreciate of your assistance I have mapped out as compensation and wrote on your favor a check of US$800,000.00.(Eight Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) I left the check with my lawyer Barrister Ray Ugo an international lawyer who base in Africa on my departure to London.
I would like you to contact him on the below information below so that he can mail it to you.
Name:Barrister.Barrister Ray Ugo