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:
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
- +448719154675 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "Barrister Ajmalul Hossain" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2012 12:10:21 +0530
Subject: Dear Sir/Ma
My name is Barrister Ajmalul Hossain a British Senior Advocate and a
member of queens council and a personal lawyer to Mr.Abdulhafid Zlitni the former Minister of
Finance and Planning in Libya during the regime of Moammar Gadhafi who's regime has crumbled and he has been killed when rebels took over all the cities in Libya including the Capital
All Government and Private offices has been paralyzed and nothing is
moving again in Libya Country just because of the war. Recently, the rebels captured Moammar
Gadhafi and killed him with his (2) son and the rest of his family both his (2) wife's and other children ran to Algeria for an asylum for the safety of there lives.
Now, because of my position as a British Advocate and a personal Lawyer to Mr.Abdulhafid
Zlitni, he deposited a total sum of (US$US16M) Sixteen Million United State Dollars Only with
the help of his close friend who also died in the war and all the formal president of Libya
late Gadhafi's Properties all over the World has been confiscated by the World powers.
I will like to move this Fund to your Country immediately for an investment and fund will be
packaged as a Family Treasure which will be Sealed, Stamped and Registered with your full names
and address as the rightful beneficiary of the Treasure which will not implicate you or myself
as we do this deal, if only you will agree to assist me in receiving the Fund in your Country.
Finally, the sharing ratio will be 50% 50% for both of us okay.
We will discuss more on this subject matter as soon as i hear from you.
Direct Tel: +44-871-915-4675