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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister Stephen Herman" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2012 09:55:22 +0100
Subject: Your Diplomatic Package
This is an official notification of the availability of a package deposited in your name and it is not a sales solicitation or SPAM.
We are Diplomats that use our immunity and status to safekeep special and valuable packages and baggage in trust for reputable clients that are honest and trustworthy.
We work in collaboration with top firms and Governments of various countries as we have earned a name as a service whose hallmarks in reliability and confidentiality are revered.
International missions, Fellow Diplomats and Embassies of the world have used our services to satisfaction.
A benefactor whose identity can not be disclosed because of the Non Circumvention and Non Disclosure Agreement that was signed with the said benefactor when the packages were being deposited made you the beneficiary of a package containing some amount of money and stated clearly that you should only be contacted when the time signed for it to be in our care elapses and the time has already elapsed that is why you are being contacted.
The Non Circumvention and Non Disclosure Agreement signed with the benefactor mandates us to fully divulge and disclose the benefactor's identity 18 months after the beneficiary has received the funds.
We confirm that these funds are fully free of any liens, or encumbrances and are clean, clear and non-criminal origin and are available in the form of CASH.
You are hereby advised to send your Full Contact Information as well as the name of the closest airport to your city in the format stated below so that the funds would be brought to your Country of residence by 3 Diplomats who would accompany you to your bank (if you want them to) to deposit the funds in your name and submit all documentations that has to do with the origin of the funds in other to exonerate you from any form of investigations or interrogation and to authenticate the fact that the funds are clean and has no links whatsover with either drugs or terrorism.
The Requested Information is to ensure that no mistake or error is made and it should be forwarded in the manner stated below:
Your Full Name: ______________________________
Your cell number:________________________________
Your Complete Address: ________________________________
Name of City of Residence: ____________________
Name of Closest Airport to your city of Residence:_________________________________
Complete the above and send back to me as soon as possible.
Congratulations in advance.
Thank you and I sincerely Remain,
Barrister Stephen Herman