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:
- 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.)
- 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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +22544448290 (Cote d'Ivoire, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
- 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 (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Paulina Phalange" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2017 09:39:52 -0600
Subject: From Hospital - Code: ("PP in H")
My name is Paulina Phalange from Canada. I am writing from the hospital in Ivory Coast, therefore this mail is very urgent because I am very sick and I don't know what will happen tomorrow. I was told by my doctor that I was poisoned and can only live for some months.
I inherited some money ($3.3 Million) from my late father and I cannot think of anybody trying to kill me apart from my step mother in order to inherit the money, she is an Ivorian by nationality.
I want you to contact my house helper with this information below:
Name: Charistian Udaige
Phone Number: +225 4444 8290
He will give you the documents of the fund and will direct you to a lawyer who will assist you to change the documents of the fund to your name in order for the bank to transfer the fund to you.
This is the favor I need when you have get the money :-
(1) Give 20% of the money to Charistian Udaige; he has been there for me in this difficult times and I promise to support him in his education. I want you to take him along with you to your country and establish him as your son, if it will be possible for you.
(2) Give 30% of the money to handicap people and charity organization, then the remaining one is yours.
Note; This should be a code between you and Charistian Udaige in this transaction "PP in H" any mail from him, the barrister he will direct you to, without this code "PP in H" is not from any of us, because I don't know what will happen to me in the next few hours.
(3) Both Charistian Udaige and the lawyer should send their identity, to be sure of whom you are dealing with. Charistian Udaige is so little therefore guide him.
And if I don't hear from you, I will look for another person or an organization.
May Almighty God bless you and use you to accomplish my wish.
Ms Paulina Phalange