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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- ",000,000" (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)
- ",500,000" (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.)
- "@lawyer.com" (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: OCEANIC BANK. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 04 Jul 2012 12:49:00 +0200
Subject: Congratulations $1 million have been transfer to your representative today.
Congratulations on the successful transfer we made today to your representative Mr.Robert Walters from London.
His address is FLAT 8 RUGMERE,FERDINAND STREET,LONDON NW1 8HE. His Phone number is : +447011184645
We successfully transferred $1,000,000.00 from your $8,500,000.00 in our bank to his bank account in London today leaving you a balance of $7,500,000.00
Because he said that you are very sick and in a hospital bed and you seriously needed $1 million to pay your hospital bills at the moment and we told him
that he needed to pay the transfer charges for the $1,000,000.00 which he did and we successfully transfers to him $1 million to his account to help you in the bills.
Please accept our congratulations and we wish you a quick recovery.
Please send to us your contact information's as follows for the transferring of your balance of $7.5 million.
TELEPHONE NUMBER :......
OCCUPATION AND POSITION :.....
For the balance of your fund $7.5 million contact us with below information's.
NAME: Barrister Jude Uwe .
Telephone number: +234-7030706514