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:
- "consignment " (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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "F Obinna" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2013 12:54:31 +0200
Subject: Dear Good Friend
I am contacting you to assist in repatriating the money and properties left behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Finance House where these f u n d s were d e p o s i t e d. Particularly, the finance house where the d e c e a s e d d e p o s i t e d as family t r e a s u r e, a consignment value Fifteen million, Five Hundred Thousand USD last year issued me a 12 months notice to provide the N e x t of K i n or have the f u n d c o n s i g n m e n t confiscated, and this ultimatum expires by next month.Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over two years now, I seek your consent to present you as the NOK so that the proceed of this d e p o s i t valued at Fifteen million, Five Hundred Thousand Dollars can be released to you and
I have more to write you about the details of this transaction once I receive your urgent response strictly through my personal Email address: (email@example.com) ,If you are interested in this transaction,I look forward hearing from you to enable us proceed.
Barrister F Obinna
Phone: +2 3 4- 7 0 1 4 0 6 1 2 1 1