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:
- 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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Paulette Beal" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2011 18:31:19 -0800
Subject: FROM THE UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL AGENT
UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL AGENT
ASSIGNED TO NIGERIA-AFRICA.
From: Mrs. Paulette Beal
Though I don't know much about you or how you will take this message but I have decided to get across to you through this medium irrespective of all odds since I have the mandate of my superior Mr. Moon and the World Bank President.
I was appointed to come to Nigeria by my superior Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and the World Bank President to effect the release of your UN/WORD BANK approved compensation payment of $950,000.00 which has been approved to you since last year. Our intelligence reported reveals that this fund has been fluctuating off and on transit until it was intercept and returned to the US-Nigeria Treasury Account. Mrs. Inga-Britt an ex- UN member was sent to Nigeria Africa previously to tackle this problem but she compromised and failed. Instead of tacking this prevailing problem, she joined Dr. Lamido Sanussi, Dr. Tunde Lemo, Rev. Johnson Aku, Dr. Mrs. Veronica Amadi, and the other Nigerian evil bank executives to defraud you and make you believe that this fund was not real so that they can later divert it to their already joint opened account in Costa Rica. That is why she was sacked and retired finally from the office (UN).
Since my arrival, I have met with President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the Nigerian Finance Minister and their Chief Justice of the Federation, the Accountant General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and they have all endorsed the immediate release of this payment to you without delay.
I have programmed your fund for immediate payment through a well tested and trusted bank in Nigeria which I will not release the name to you for security reason until you have proved that you are the bonafide beneficiary of this approved compensation fund.
Lastly, for your verification and confirmation, attached with this message is a scan copy of my United Nations Working ID card while you get back to me on this email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information on what to do.
Mrs. Paulette Beal.