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:
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "money gram" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
Fraud email example:
From: Attorney George Wakahiu <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Attorney George Wakahiu <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2017 18:52:06 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Re: From Barrister George Wakahiu Regarding yours funds,,.
Greetings From Barrister George Wakahiu
This is to official informing you that we discovered that you are
among of funds owner that have been pursuing yours long time overdue
Payment without any legal tender that will enhance the smooth release
of of yours fund to your location According to the INTERPOL the
scammers have been told you several stories and good promises &
guarantee from various fake offices , but you are disappointed at the
end, because you have not contacted right person to help you ascertain
the real and legal process of this claim.
To be frank with you, you need to obtain a Court Sworn Affidavits fund
Release Order because your fund can not be release to you without
court order Affidavit issued on your behalf, and this is the reason
why all promises from different fake offices proved nothing. You
should've understood that it is only a legal decision that can break
forth this Claim.
However, I'm willing to assist you finalize this transaction
confirmation of your payment in your bank account as soon as you send
$90.00 to obtain Court Sworn Affidavits fund Release Order on your
I must ensure that what we are doing is legal and bidden by World
authorities,I have assisted a lot of People like you in the pasts, and
at the end they all received their payments without any further
Problem. So your case will not be different once you abide to my
instruction and Directives.
You will have to send $90.00 to issue above mentioned documents
needed to backup your transaction to enable you receive your funds
from paying bank in charge of your funds transaction Standard
Chartered Bank Kenyatta Avenue Branch management,
Kindly Use below information to send the money via Money Gram or
Western Union to our cashier to obtain the needed Court Order
Receiver Name Johnson Esine
Meanwhile attachment is my staff identify card
Attorney George Wakahiu
Chambers & Associates