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: "Mrs.Mary Jones" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2011 14:25:23 +0800
Subject: UNITED NATIONS/WORLD BANK COMPENSATION UNI
UNITED NATIONS/WORLD BANK COMPENSATION UNIT.
Our Ref: U.N/WBO/042SWISS/2011.
You may not understand why this mail came to you. We have been having a meeting for the past 7 months which just ended Few days ago with the secretary to the UNITED NATIONS.
This email is to all the people that have been scammed in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS in Affiliation with WORLD BANK have agreed to compensate them with the sum of USD 850,000,00.
This includes every foreign contractors that may have not received their contract sum, and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government problems etc.
We found your name in the list of those who are to benefit from these compensation exercise and that is why we are contacting you, this have been agreed upon and have been signed. You are advised to contact Mr.SONG WONG of our paying center, as he is our representative .contact him immediately for your funds.
This funds are in a Bank Draft for security purpose it can be cleared in any bank of your choice.
Therefore, you are in obligation to send the following informations, Your Full Name, Sex, Age, Occupation, Nationality, Tel/Fax number and your correct mailing address where you want to receive the draft.
Follow the link for your perusal; http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2003/ik344.doc.htm
Contact: Mr.Song Wong for details and directives.
I apologize on behalf of my organization for any delay you have encountered in receiving your fund in the past. Thanks and God bless you and your family. Hoping to hear from you as soon as you cash your Bank Draft.
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