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:
- 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)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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: "Dr. Paul Gad" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2016 03:39:09 +0200
Subject: URGENT NOTICE !!!
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family? I hope This
mail meets you in a perfect condition.
I am using this opportunity to thank you for your great effort to our
unfinished transfer of fund into your account due to one reason or the
other best known to you.
But I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the Cheque
out of the company to someone else who was capable of assisting me in
this great venture.
Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trust worthiness you showed at
the course of the transaction I want to compensate you and show my
gratitude to you with the sum of 20,000.000.00(Twenty Million United States
Of American Dollars) in respect to your lottery winnings Compensation.
I have authorized the finance house in the Ghana where I deposited my money
to issue you international certified bank draft cashable at your bank.
My dear friend I will like you to contact the finance house for the
collection of this international certified bank draft. The name and
contact address of the Person with your Cheque is as follows.
BARRISTER. KEN ALAYE
PHONE NUM: +233 542 990 397
Contact him with the following information
1. Full Name:
2. Residential Address:
3. Phone Number:
4. Fax Number:
At the moment, I am very busy here because of the investment projects
which I and my new partner are having at hand
Finally, remember that I have forwarded instruction to the finance house
on your behalf to send the bank draft to you as soon as you contact them
without delay. Please I will like you to accept this token with good
faith as this is from the bottom of my heart.
Thanks and God bless you and your family. Hope to hear from you soon.
Dr. Gad Paul