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:
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "accredited attorney" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Stephen Hofman" <>
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2021 14:34:40 +0800
Subject: Urgent Response!
If truly you have not yet received your Inheritance / Contract Payment, pl=
ease kindly re-confirm your information once again to enable us process and=
release your payment immediately through our corresponding paying Bank. I=
t is evident before our records that your payment is long overdue and it is=
disheartening to discover that all efforts you have made so far to take po=
ssession of the fund proved abortive.
You are hereby warned not to communicate or duplicate this message to anyo=
ne for any reason whatsoever. Kindly reconfirm the following information:
1. Your full Name.
2. Contact Home/Office Address.
3. Your Cell-phone Number.
4. Your Occupation/Profession
The above information will assist us to commence immediate processing and =
release of your fund without much delay.
Barr. Stephen Hofman
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.