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)
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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.)
- "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 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Suzanne Kilcup <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 2 Jul 2016 23:09:00 -0700
Subject: You Are Amoung Lucky Winner To Be Paid This Year2016
I am Suzanne Kilcup, a Citizen of America, and i am 56 years Old.
With the utmost joy in me, i will like to inform you that i have received my overdue contract sum of $6,500,000.00 ( Six Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ) Only from the Bank of Ghana through the help and service of Barrister Paul Dramani.
I saw your Email among the listed beneficiary to be paid this year 2016.
So therefore, i will advise you to contact Barrister Paul Dramani on the email address below for guideline on how to claim your fund successfully from the approved paying bank in Ghana.
Person to contact: Barrister Paul Dramani
TEL : +233571205151
It's was the Agreement of the Africa Union (AU), European Union (EU) and the United States FBI that all unpaid contract sum,inheritance/next of kin, Late government employees retirement fund and lottery beneficiaries should be paid out through the Bank of Ghana.
Am advising you,stop further communication with other offices,contact barrister Paul Dramani for your approved fund release papers. Note the only fee i paid was $220 for Declaration of Fund and Duty Stamp to the Federal High Court of Ghana.