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:
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "UNITED NATIONS" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2010 09:02:34 -0500
Subject: Compensation Draft
The UNITED NATIONS which plays a leading role in coordinating emergency
relief efforts across the globe has agreed to compensate all the people that
had an unfinished transaction or international Fund transfer that failed due
to Government problem or those that have been Frauded in the past by dubious
Individuals.The sum of US$350,000 was issued to each of you .We found your
name in our list as one of the beneficiary and that is why we are contacting
you through this medium. This has been agreed upon and have been signed.
You are advised now to contact Mr Alabi Lai Overall Director of
Intercontinental Bank Plc via his Email Address;firstname.lastname@example.org,as he is our
representative who is in charge of disposing the bank draft to you.
You are to Send the information below to Mr Alabi Lai via his email address
for the immediate delivery of your Compensation bank Draft to you.
Full Names (Surname First).....
Contact him immediately with the requested information above for your
International Bank Draft of US $350,000.00 USD.
Please note that late response is not accepted, misconduct and boycott to
instructions leads to fund termination
Have a blissful day and Hope you invest this Money Wisely and profitably
Gen Ban Ki-Moon
Secretary General (UNITED NATIONS)