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:
- "security keeping fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- ",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)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "foreign payment department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "charles soludo" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "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. )
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms Lisa Young." (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 3 Sep 2016 01:02:15 +0200
Subject: Great News, You are advised to Stop Contacting Them.
Foreign Payment Department
Nigeria General Board & Compensation Reserve Team
GRANTED APPROVAL FROM INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
12, Adewole Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
Great News, You are advised to Stop Contacting Them.
I am Ms Lisa Young, I am a US citizen, am 33 years Old. I reside here in Gainesville. My residential address is as follows. 6909 Sw 33rd Pl, Gainesville, Florida 32608-2112, United Statess, am thinking of relocating since I am now rich. I am one of those that took part in the Compensation in Nigeria many years ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid over $19,950USD while in the United States trying to get my payment all to no avail.
I decided to travel down to Lagos, Nigeria with all my compensation documents and i was directed to meet Barrister David Carlos who is the member of COMPENSATION AWARD COMMITTEE, I contacted him and he explained everything to me. He said whoever is contacting us through emails are fake because the Inheritance/Compensation Law clearly states that the beneficiary/recipient is exempt from paying any out of pocket fees or charges to receive said funds.
Barrister David Carlos took me to the paying bank for the claim of my Compensation payment. Right now I am the most happiest woman on earth because I have received my compensation funds of $4,500,000.00 (four million five hundred thousand dollars). Moreover, Barrister David Carlos showed me the full information of those that are yet to receive their payments and I saw your name and email address as one of the beneficiaries that is why I decided to email you to stop dealing with those people, they are not with your funds, they are only making money out of you.
I will advise you to contact Barrister David Carlos
You have to contact him directly on this information below.
COMPENSATION AWARD HOUSE
Name: Barrister : David Carlos
Listed below are the name of mafias and banks behind the non release of your funds that I managed to sneak out for your kind perusal.
1) Prof. Charles soludo
2) Senator David Mark
2) Micheal Edward
3) Chief Joseph Sanusi
3) Sanusi Lamido
4) Dr. R. Rasheed
5) Mr. David Koffi
6) Barrister Awele Ugorji
7) Mr. Roland Ngwa
8) Barrister Ucheuzo Williams
9) Mr. Ernest Chukwudi Obi
10) Dr. Patrick Aziza Deputy Governor - Policy / Board Member
11) Mr. Tunde Lemo Deputy Governor - Financial Sector Surveillance/Board Member
12) Mrs. W. D. A. Mshelia Deputy Governor - Corporate Services / Board Members
13) Mrs. Okonjo Iweala
14) Mrs. Rita Ekwesili
15) Barr Jacob Onyema
16) Dr. Godwin Oboh: Director Union Bank Of Nigeria.
17) Mr. John Collins: Global Diplomat Director.
18) Foreign fund diplomatic courier
19) Rev. Steven Jones
20) Mr. Alfred Johnson
21) Mrs. Sherry Williams
22) Mr. Scott Larry
23) Barr Alex Jackson
You really have to stop dealing with those people that are contacting you and telling you that your fund is with them, it is not in anyway with them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing. The only money I paid after I met Barrister David Carlos was just $275USD for the delivery charges, take note of that.
( NOTE: TELLING YOU TO PAY FOR ANY ADMINISTRATIVE CHARGE OR SECURITY KEEPING FEE IS ALL NOTHING BUT LIES, I REPEAT THE ONLY MONEY YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY AND WHICH I ALSO PAID IS $275USD FOR THE DELIVERY CHARGES IMPOSED BY THE GOVERNMENT AND YOUR PACKAGE CONTAINING YOUR CERTIFIED BANK DRAFT CHEQUE WILL BE REACHING YOU THROUGH THE ROYAL EXPRESS COURIER SERVICE.)
Once again stop contacting those people, I will advise you to contact Barrister David Carlos so that he can help you to Deliver your funds instead of dealing with those liars that will be turning you around asking for different kind of money to complete your transaction.
Thank You and Remain Blessed.
Ms Lisa Young.