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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "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. )
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: =?UTF-8?B?QmFyciBQaGxpcA==?= <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 09 Jan 2018 16:37:14 +0200
How are you today? I hope this mail meets you in a perfect condition. I am using this opportunity to thank you for your great effort to our unfinished transaction and transfer of your international bank draft check to you from the bank, am sorry for presenting and using someone else in your name to get this transaction successful. Due to logistic reasons and your inconsistency to the other best known to you. Right now, I want to inform you that I have successfully cleared the bank draft check funds to someone else account who was capable of assisting me in this great venture that have been over and successful.
Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trustworthiness you showed at the course of the transaction I want to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of $750,000 (seven Hundred and fifty Thousand United State Of America Dollars). I have authorized Mr. Williams Obieze where I deposited the money with to issue you international certified bank draft, cash able check at your bank or anywhere as choice felt. My dear friend I will like you to contact Mr. Williams Obieze for the collection of this international certified bank draft. His name and contact address is as follows:
Name Mr. Williams Obieze
No 31 Joel Ogunnaike street
G.R.A. Ikeja Lagos Nigeria
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Mr. Williams Obieze At the moment, am very busy here in the united kingdom because of the investment projects which myself and my new partner are having at hand In London Finally remember that I have forwarded instructions to Mr. Williams Obieze on your behalf to send the bank draft check of $750,000 (seven Hundred and fifty Thousand United State Of America Dollars) to you as soon as you contact him without delay. Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart.
Thanks God bless you and your family. Hope to hear from you as soon as you've getting my compensation and please do not get angry because that is what i have for now till i finish my project.
Barrister Phlip Egobia