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:
- ",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.)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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: "Mrs. Monalisa Elvis" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 25 Dec 2016 19:11:16 -0300
Subject: YOU ARE ADVISED TO STOP CONTACTING THEM NOW
I am Mrs. Monalisa Elvis, 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 States, 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 $130,950USD 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 the attorney 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.
The attorney 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 $10,500,000.00 (Ten million five hundred thousand dollars). Moreover, Attorney 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, theyare only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing. The only money I paid after I met Barrister Lord Ruben was just $400USD for the delivery charges, take note of that.
I will advise you to contact My attorney now with his information below:
COMPENSATION AWARD HOUSE
Name: Barrister Lord Ruben
( NOTE: I REPEAT THE ONLY MONEY YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY AND WHICH I ALSO PAID IS $400USD 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 Lord Ruben 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.
Mrs. Monalisa Elvis