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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "million british pounds" (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)
- ",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)
- "chambers" (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.
Fraud email example:
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:04:32 +0100
Subject: Hello Dear Friend
Lloyd Elliott Law Chambers
Good day to you,
How are you doing today? I sent this letter to you previously without getting any response. I am re-sending it once more hoping it gets to you this time and that you will confirm your position to enable me to stop any further search. Please note this is not connected with any deceptive intention as you may have anticipated.
My Name is Lloyd Elliott, a registered lawyer in the United Kingdom, I am contacting you in respect of my client, Mr. Andrei Borodin, who needs a business partner for investment purposes. He is seeking for a private company or individual good enough to invest his funds into any profitable business. Mr. Andrei Borodin, has been in London since 2011 after being accused of fraud, and I can authoritatively inform you here that he has been granted political asylum here in the UK.
More information about Mr. Borodin can be obtained here:-
The investment fund is Fourteen Million British Pounds Sterling (14,000,000:00) and can be increased if necessary. If you are interested, I can guarantee you that this exercise is straight forward and has no encumbrance whatsoever attached. Upon the confirmation of your full consent to participate, all the necessary information will be made available to you.
I look forward for a good business relationship with you. Please get back to me immediately via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lloyd Elliott Esq.