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:
- "hundred thousand u.s 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)
- "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: "Dr. Stanley Biko." (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2021 11:56:15 +0100
Subject: Can I confide in you please?
Your e-mail address came up in a random draw conducted by our law firm David
Nicholson Chambers New York USA.
I am Dr.Stanley Biko (Esq) A personal attorney to the late Mr. Michael Blair who
worked with Shell British Petroleum. Mr. Michael Blair a well known Philanthropist
before he died of Corona Virus known as Covid 19 in the UK United Kingdom made a
Will in our law firm stating that US$85.5 Million (Eighty five Million Five Hundred Thousand U.S Dollars only) should be donated to any Philanthropist or Orphanage homes of your choice overseas.
We have made our random draw and your e-mail address was picked to receive this
fund as the beneficiary of late Mr. Michael Blair will. Kindly get back to me as
soon as you are in receipt of my mail to enable me tell you what next to do to
receive your fund legally.