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:
- "million 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)
- "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)
- "barr." (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:
From: "Barr. Harry Spina" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 25 May 2016 22:11:04 -0400
Subject: YOUR PAYMENT
This is to bring to your notice that we are delegate from the United Nations to the "Bank of New York Mellon" Regional Payment center London to pay some unclaimed funds inheritance,contract,lottery and scam victims the
sum GBP £1,000,000.00 ( ONE MILLION POUNDS).
You are listed to receive this approved payment which has approved to be paid this amount as compensations funds, please do respond to this mail as soon as possible to prompt the release of this payments sum of GBP
£1,000,000.00 compensations funds. You are to send your:
 Full Names:...... ..
 Contact address:....
 Direct Telephone:...
Address: Lower Ground
30 Cannon Street
London EC4M 6XH
Barr. Harry Spina