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:
- 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:
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- ",000,000" (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.)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister Christopher Adams" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2017 12:01:31 -0500
Subject: Dear Sir ,
Dear Sir ,
Your email was well noted. I Barrister Christopher Adams of Providence
Chambers do solemnly make this promise that all procedures that will lead
to the release of your approved ATM CARD which contains USD $5,000,000.00
(FIVE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS) to Joseph Aguayo will be completed
after the confirmation of the final payment of $200 that will enable my
office do the needful as required.
On my honor I am using the IRREVOCABLE PRIME GUARANTEE to re-affirm and
unequivocally proof that your ATM CARD will be finally transmitted to your
nominated destination without any more hitch or hindrance. We agree that
this agreement should be biding and use in any law court we fail in our
responsibility to achieve this
However, I would not want to dwell much on words any more but would advise
you not to look at where you are coming from but where you are going
because I have no doubt in ,mind that by the time we are able to do this
needful as required you will certainly confirm this fund in your cupped
hands and at the same time recreate your environment. This you should know
as much as I don't that it is the dynamics of life for any path without an
obstacle leads to no where important. All this while I have rested on my
oars but have been working tirelessly to see how we can collectively get
out of this stumbling block, hopefully we shall surely find the way out.
It will also be worthy to note here that confirmation of this fund in your
destination will only be possible only if you can put aside all this
negative attitude you may have cultivated so as to enable us work together
and ensure that this desired goal is achieved in your favor.
Finally I want to reassure you that you are in safe hands and will never
have any room for regret.
I await your urgent positive response to enable me furnish you with the
information through which you will make the payment of $200.
Barrister Christopher Adams (SAN)