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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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 united states 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "economic and financial crime commission" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "(efcc)" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- 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.
- +447035908430 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "UNITED NATIONS" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2011 07:32:14 -0800
UNITED NATIONS (WORLD BANK ASSISTED PROGRAM)
DIRECTORATE OF INTERNATIONAL PAYMENT AND TRANSFERS.
870 UNITED NATIONS B PLAZA 20-A NEW YORK NY 10017
ATM CARD/AUDIT UNIT.
(UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE ON SCAMS AND COMPENSATION)
This email is to you that have been scammed in Nigeria and any part of the
world, THE UNITED NATIONS WORLD BANK ASSISTED PROGRAM, Have agreed to
compensate you with the sum of US$500,000.00(Five Hundred Thousand United
States Dollars) YOUR TRANSACTION HAVE BEEN MONITORED BY Economic and
Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) AND COPY OF THE FILE HAVE BEEN FAXED TO
UNITED NATION HEADQUARTERS, WORLD BANK HEADQUARTERS, THE UK PRIME MINISTER
AND THE NEW NIGERIA PRESIDENT, DR GOODLUCK JONATHAN FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF
A REPAY AND COMPENSATION AGREEMENT HAVE BEEN MADE BETWEEN THE ABOVE OFFICES
TO YOU THAT HAVE LOOSED OR LOST MONEY BY THE BELOW MEANS.
This includes every foreign contractor that may have not received their
contract sum, And people that have had an unfinished transaction or
international businesses in Africa, Asia,Europe and USA, that failed due to
Government problems etc.
Your name and email was in the list submitted by our Monitoring Team of
Economic and Financial Crime Commission observers and this is why we are
You are advised to contact Mr. Mark Donald of UNITED KINGDOM, as he is our
representative in United Kingdom, all outstanding compensation payments Will
be structured through an ATM CARD to you.
Upon your authentication, Mr. Mark Donald will send you your compensation
in an ATM card and you can clear it in any ATM CASH POINT of your choice.
You should therefore immediately send him your full Name and telephone
your correct home address where you want him to send the ATM CARD to you.
Person to Contact,
Mr. Mark Donald.
Tel: +44 70359 08430
Fax: +44 70359 08430
Secretary (UNITED NATIONS)
Making the world a better place.
United Kingdom secretary