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.
- 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)
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal high court" (This court is often mentioned in '419' scams to give the victim a reason why he/she should send thousands of dollars to the scammers. A 'Federal High Court' exists in Germany and Nigeria, but not in other countries, such as the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Senegal, Benin, South Africa or other countries where fake lawyers in scams often claim to be based. )
- 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.
- 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.
- 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: "Mark Rubenson" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2015 05:12:55 -0600
Subject: RE: STOP WASTING YOUR TIME AND MONEY ON IMPOSTERS.
I sincerely apologize for contacting your without due permission or under-going due process. I was left with no choice that to contact you immediately because I consider this information is very Urgent and Emergency. You will agree with me that experience is the best teacher as we say. I have had allot of bad and hurtful experiences from those Fucking Internet Scammers. I received over 50 mails each day telling me to claim by Inheritance Funds worth two million Five Hundred Thousand United Stated Dollars. I fell to this trap and I lost allot of money. I will never forgive those Bastards from Africa to be specific Nigeria, Benin, Uk, US, Ghana ETC.
I am pleased to inform you that i am one of the most happiest women on health now because I was contacted by the Federal High Court Officials who directed me to the Real Organization in charge of my Funds. Now I have my funds directly transferred to my Bank Account. I will have to enjoy the rest of my life and family with this Fund as I resign my job on the 16th of Febuary 2015. I have no reason to keep working when i have enough Funds to set up my own establishment.
Now you will be surprised how I got to know you. I was with the Federal High Court Official to sign and approve the Transfer of my Funds to my Bank (Wells Fargo). I saw your e-mail address among the Beneficiaries of this Funds. I felt very sorry for those names and e-mail contacts because I know they might have been scammed by those Bastard. I quickly write out your name and email address . This is why I am contacting you today.
If you have received any mail asking you to make any form of payment to get your Funds. I advice you to ignore such mail now and contact the Federal High Court Official in charge of the Release of your Funds. If you can contact her now, she is going to process your Funds Papers immediately and you will have your Funds transferred to your Bank Account within the next 24-48hours. But you will be required to provide your information to prove that you are the real owner and Beneficiary of this Fund. You can contact Barrister Kimberly Marlin via e-mail as stated below:
Federal High Court Of Justice (United Kingdom)
Name: Barrister Kimberly Marlin (Federal High Court Official)
Tel: +44 7418 399 629
My Dear Friend, I hope I have been able to help and prevent you from falling a scam victim to those insolent bastards. Please feel very free to get back to me if you need more information on this, i will be willing to help. Bye for now.
Mr. Mark Rubenson