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:
- 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:
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +2348024493361 (Nigeria, prepaid mobile phone)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Jesse Williams" (may be fake)
Reply-To: < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 11:55:46 -0800
Subject: CONTACT MR ROBERT JOSEPH ( email@example.com )
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family? I hope this
mail meets you in a perfect condition. This is the United Nations
Organisation (COMPENSATION DEPARTMENT), this program is organised by the Board of
Trustees and Directors for the end of the Year "POVERTY REDUCTION AND ERADICATION".
We are using our reputable and well known organisation to let you know that
you are one of our chosen beneficiaries for this program of "POVERTY REDUCTION
AND ERADICATION" in your country e-mail directory.
We hereby inform you that you have successfully being chosen and compensated
for an International Bank Draft written out in your name in the amount of
$750,000,00 (Thousand United State Of America Dollars) in our West Africa
regional Annex. Now, for the compensated price, you will have to contact
the Finance House and the Compensation Department for your perusals and
claims of your compensated price.
My dear beneficiary, below is the contact of the Finance House and
Compensation Department (FHCD) for the collection and claims of your international
certificated bank draft:
COMPENSATION HEAD OFFICE AND FINACIAL DEPARTMENT
CONTACT Officer: Mr Robert Joseph
EMAIL: ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
CELL PHONE: +234-802-449-3361
Below is our Chief Organiser's contact information in the United Kingdom
if you should have any questions and verifications to make for proper
enlightment and explanation.case you want to verify or get any comfirmation
from me but i want you to be rest assured that your bank draft will be cashed at
you nominated Bank.
CHIEF ORGANISER/C.E.O UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION DEPARTMENT
NAME: Mr Jesse Williams
ADDRESS: 207 Monston Lane Park
407 MJ Leyland
Finally remember that I have forwarded instruction to the finance house on
your behalf to send the bank draft to you as soon as you contact them
without delay.Please be informed that you should treat this as confidential as ever
and in good faith from the Board and Management of the Organisation.
You are to provide the following information.
Your Full Name:
Personal Telephone Number:
Thanks. God Loves and Bless you and your family.
Hope to contact the F.H.C.D soon.
Mr Jesse Williams
C.E.O / CHIEF ORGANISER