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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Mark Birchfield" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 18:52:47 -0500
Subject: I would advise you to contact Mr. Henry Jackson for assistance
I am Mr. Mark Birchfield. I am a US citizen and i am 34 years Old. I reside here in Tampa, Florida and i am thinking of relocating since I am now rich.
I am one of those that took part in the United Nations Compensation program in Nigeria many years ago and they refused to pay me. I had paid over $20,000 while in the US, trying to get my payment but all was to no avail.
So I decided to travel down to Nigeria with all my compensation documents and I was directed to meet Mr. Henry Jackson, who is the member of COMPENSATION PROGRAM COMMITTEE, and i contacted him and he explained everything to me.
He said who ever is contacting us through emails are fake. He also took me to the paying bank (UNION BANK PLC) for the claim of my compensation payment.
Right now, i am the happiest man on earth because I have received my compensation funds of $5,000,000.00 more over, Mr. Henry Jackson showed me the full information of those that are yet to receive their payments and i saw your email as one of the beneficiaries who have not yet received the payment under CASE FILE 54AC003 and that is why I decided to email you to stop dealing with those people. They are not with your fund, they are only making money off you.
Therefore, i would advise you to contact Mr. Henry Jackson for assistance and inform him that your CASE FILE is 54AC003. Contact her directly via the information below.
UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION AWARD PROGRAM
Name : Mr. Henry Jackson
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 with them. They are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing.
The only money i paid after i met Mr. Henry Jackson was just the bank transfer charges, which is only normal and legitimate as it is in all banks in the world. So please take note of that. Mr. Henry Jackson shall ensure that you deal directly with the bank (UNION BANK PLC).
Once again stop contacting those people. I advise that you contact Mr. Henry Jackson so that he can help you in the collection of your transfer payment instead of dealing with those liars that will be turning you around asking for different kind of money to complete your transaction.
Thank you and be blessed.
Mr. Mark Birchfield