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 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Humanitarian Aid Trust Funds" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2017 09:49:04 +0200
Subject: Humanitarian Aid Trust Relief Funds
Peace of god is with you.
Take responsibility, with heavy tears in my eyes and great sorrow in my heart when I am sending you this email instead of a Certified/Post-mail. I make up mind to contact you for oblige and distribution of my inheritance after going through your profile. Firstly, I must solicit your confidence in this project;
Iam Sick and Dying Woman: I WILL my funds to you, I can't take phone calls now because i am at operation room. Because i have no child to inherit this funds, I have been touched by god to donate from what I have inherited from my late husband and it is in my interest to channel the above amount to you which I have decided to WILL/donate for the good work of the lord and to help the motherless children, less privilege, charity organization of your choice and for the assistance of the widows rather than allowing my relatives to use my husband hard-earned funds ungodly.
Please Contact my lawyer with this specified email:
Name: Barrister Brik
Regards, Sarah (Mrs.)