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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "account opening" (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. )
- "million 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)
- "keep this confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2018 00:48:18 -0700
Subject: STOP CONTACTING THEM!!>
I am Ms. Nancy Louise Ferguson, I am a US citizen, 48 years Old. I reside here in New Braunfels
Texas. My residential address is as follows. 108 Crockett Court. Apt 303, New Braunfels Texas,
United States, am thinking of relocating since I am now rich. I am one of those that took part
in the Compensation in Nigeria last years ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid over
$45,000 while in the US,trying to get my payment all to no avail. So I decided to travel down to
Nigeria with all my compensation documents, And I was directed to meet Barrister Zinedine Joan
who is the EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR working together with the FBI, ICE and INTERPOL of COMPENSATION
AWARD COMMITTEE, and I contacted him he explained everything to me and help me to receive my
Compensation fund worth $15,000,000.00. I am very happy now.
He took me to the paying bank for the claim of my Compensation payment. Right now I am the most
happiest woman on earth because I have received my compensation funds of $15,000,000.00 (fifteen
million dollars) Moreover, Barrister Zinedine Joan, showed me the full information of those that
are yet to receive their payments and I saw your name as one of the beneficiaries, and your
email address, that is why I decided to email you to stop dealing with those people, they are
not with your funds, they are only making money out of you.
I will advise you to contact Barrister Zinedine Joan You have to contact him directly on this
COMPENSATION AWARD HOUSE CONTACT BARRISTER Zinedine Joan EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR YOUR FUNDS RELEASE.
Name: Barrister Zinedine Joan.
You really have to stop dealing with the fake scammers asking you to pay for online banking
asking you to pay for account opening and codes demands more money just to rip you off those
people that are contacting you and telling you that your fund is with them, it is not in anyway
with them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have
nothing. The only money I paid after I met Barrister Zinedine Joan was just $350usd for the paper
works, take note of that.
( NOTE: TELLING YOU TO PAY FOR ANY DELIVERY OR COURIER CHARGE, THAT IS ALL NOTHING BUT LIES, I
REPEAT THE ONLY MONEY YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY AND WHICH I ALSO PAID IS $350usd FOR THE
ADMINISTRATIVE/ ENDORSEMENT CHARGE AS IMPOSED BY THE GOVERNMENT AND YOUR FUND WILL TRANSFER
DIRECT TO YOUR ACCOUNT OR YOUR PACKAGE CONTAINING WILL DELIVER THROUGH COURIER SERVICE DELIVERY
Once again stop contacting those people, I will advise you to contact Barrister Zinedine Joan so
that he can help you to Deliver your fund instead of dealing with those liars fake scammers that
will be turning you around asking for different kind of money to complete your transaction.
Note: KEEP THIS CONFIDENTIAL TO YOURSELF DO NOT FORWARD THIS TO ANYONE FOR SECURITY REASONS.
Thank You and Remain Blessed.
Ms. Nancy Louise Ferguson.