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)
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "lome togo" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Yahoo, Thailand; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Paul Adam <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:51:00 +0200
Subject: Attn, Dear friend,
Attn, Dear friend,
I am Attorney Paul.Adam from Republic of Lome Togo. There is this
piece of information on my desk in my office which is referring claims
of funds worth Eight million Five Hundred thousand dollars,
I want to verify from you if you are the relative of the decease which
am the Attorney to because you are having the same last name him;
kindly get back to me with your full names and Country of Origin for
my confirmation to enable me give you more details.
Here is my Private e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) I will be
waiting for your prompt and urgent reply.
ETIENNE CHAMBERS LAW FIRM.
Barr Paul.Adam (MR)
(SENIOR ADVOCATE OF TOGO) SENIOR PARTNER.