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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: Andy Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 04:00:32 -0800
Subject: can i trust you?
My names are Barrister Excel Kojo Willem's from Togo. I have a client that
bears the same first name with you who did a contract with Togo
Construction Company in 2002. Due to ill health, this client of mine passed
on and all effort made by me through your embassy here to locate his next
of keen prove abortive. i am writing to know if you can be trust to stand
in the place of his next of keen and claim his $7,567,000 owed him by the
I will furnish you with the necessary documents that you would send to the
construction company and the Bank to facilitate the transfer of money to
your country as the next of keen with the hope that once the money is
gotten, it would be shared fifty fifty by the two of us.
Thank you, God bless and hope to here from you.
Barrister Excel Kojo Williams