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:
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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.
- 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: "Barrister Randy Miller" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 3 Dec 2016 10:16:07 -0500
Subject: Re: Contact Barrister Randy Miller for your $1.5 Million ASAP
NATIONAL COUNTERINTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY CENTER
Statement for the Record
Formation of the National Background Investigations Bureau
and Security Clearance Reforms
FROM THE CHAMBERS OF BARRISTER RANDY MILLER,
Contact Email: email@example.com
With sincere pleasure from the Head Office of the Security and Counterintelligence (CI) for United States Investigations Services (USIS), you have been honored to be informed that we have reconciled with our logistic department on the reimbursement of some fund spent during the cause of your inadequate dealings with some impostors who claim to be staff in banks and other regional payment centers.
The Director of National Counterintelligence and Security Center, William R. Evanina has released funds to compensate scam viticms and citizens whose debt has been owed by the government, if you are receiving this mail, you are mandated to contact Barrister Randy Miller for the release of your own beneficiary fund of $1.5million. Your funds will be delivered to your home address in proper conducts and we have arranged your payment through our swift card centers, with the latest instruction from United Nations Office And International Monetary Fund Reconciliation Office.
You are hereby approved to be paid/compensated with $1.5 million which you are to acknowledge the receipt of this mail in returning the required below to the Logistic Department by email listed below for immediately release of your funds to you.
1. Full Name:
2. Home Address:
3. Home/Cell Phone:
Barrister Randy Miller.
(678) 757 3220
Security and Counter Intelligence.