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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- ",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)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a "dying widow" 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.
- +447031807890 (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: "Shieka Nadine Samir" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2013 15:30:28 +0100
Subject: CONTACT PERSON: BARRISTER BEACHAM-
I am Shieka Nadine Samir widowed to Khaleed Samir of Dubai U.A.E. a business merchant, we were married for 18 years without a child before he died after a brief illness. I have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer 3 years ago after the death of my husband who had left me everything he worked for.
When he was alive he deposited the sum of $40,500,000 (Fourty million Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars) with a finance company in SOUTH AFRICA. I beg of you for love sake to help me collect these and distribute this money to charity rather than allow my late husband relatives to use funds ungodly, I have decided to WILL these funds to you because relatives and friends have plundered so much of my wealth since my illness. I'm presently in a hospital and my doctors have told me that I will not be able to survive this illness from all indications and have therefore decided to WILL/donate these funds to you.I have adjusted my WILL and informed about my attorney about you & my new decision, I need you to contact him with his details below and he will
guild you through how you will get these funds.
LAW OFFICE: BEACHAM & SANID CHAMBER ENGLAND
CONTACT PERSON: BARRISTER BEACHAM BENSON
PHONE:+44 703 180 7890
Shieka Nadine Samir
NB: I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality in this matter until the task is accomplished, as I dont want anything that will jeopardize my last wish.