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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal republic of benin" (Benin, Cameroon, etc. are no Federal Republics, unlike Nigeria where this type of scam was invented)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "SANDRA" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2012 03:44:36 -0800
Subject: YOUR ATM CARD COMPENSATION FUND
Sorry for any inconveniences. Well, I just want to use this medium to thank you very much for your earlier assistance to help me in receiving the contractor/inheritance funds, without any positive outcome international certified Visa Card / ATM Card machine system value 2.5M.
I am obliged to inform you that I have succeeded in receiving the funds with the help of a new partner from China.Contact my secretary in Federal Republic of Benin because I have left the whole instruction to him on your behalf and instruct him where to send the $2.5M with out any further delay for your compensation.
His name is Dr.Ken maths Email: email@example.com
NB:NOTE :BELLOW IS THE REQUIRED INFORMATION
(1) YOUR FULL NAMES
(2) YOUR HOUSE ADDRESS
(3) YOUR DIRECT CELLPHONE NUMBER AND HOUSE PHONE WITH
FAX IF ANY .
In this moment, I'm very busy here in China because of the investment projects, which the new partner and I are having at hand. So feel free to get in touch with Dr.Dr.Ken to send the ATM cards
to you without any delay.
Barrister Sandra Aziza
call on +229-973-942-81