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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "Mrs. Veronica Baldwin" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2012 08:49:52 -0400
My name is Mrs. Veronica Baldwin; I am a US citizen, 51 Years Old. My residential address is as follows: 7030
PINEBROOK DRIVE, NEW ORLEANS, LA 70128, I am one of those people that took part in receiving Inheritance funds and
Lottery funds from European banks even from many lottery organizers few years ago and they refused to pay me, I had
paid different fees while in the USA trying to get my funds from those banks and lottery organizers but all to no avail.
So, I decided to travel to WASHINGTON D.C USA with all my compensation documents, and I was directed by the IMF
Director to contact the reconcilator Mr. Ben Bruce who is also an attorney, A Canadian citizen and a member of the
UNITED NATIONS & IMF COMPENSATION AWARD COMMITTEE currently working with IMF in the United States. I contacted him and he explained everything to me.
Mr. Ben Bruce personally directed me on how to claim my Inheritance or Lottery payment. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth because I have now finally received my funds of (Three Million Five Hundred Thousand UnitedState Dollars Only) through A BANK OF AMERICA PLATINUM ATM CARD UNDER THE UNITED NATIONS AND IMF PAYMENT AGENCY.
Moreover, Mr. Ben Bruce showed me the full information of those people that are yet to receive their payments and I saw your name as one of the beneficiaries, and your email address that is why I decided to email you to stop dealing with those people because they are not with your funds but they are only making money out of you.
I will personally advise you to contact Attorney Ben Bruce, as he will assist you as he is a very religious man with the fear of God.
You have to contact him directly on this information below:
Contact Person: Ben Bruce
Contact him now and send him (1) Your full names, (2) Your contact Address, (3) Your mobile phone numbers, you
really have to stop dealing with those people that are contacting you and telling you that your fund is with them because it is not in any way with them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing left with you.
The only money I paid after I met Attorney Ben Bruce was just $295 USD for the paper works, take note of that.
Thank You and Be Blessed.
Mrs. Veronica Baldwin.
7030 PINEBROOK DRIVE, NEW ORLEANS, LA 7012