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:
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- 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: OBAMA'S FOUNDATION <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 9 May 2012 17:16:17 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: FROM OBAMA'S FOUNDATION
On behalf of the OBAMA'S FOUNDATION and UNITED NATIONS, we wish to notify
you as a beneficiary of USD$6.5m in compensation of scam victims, as
directed by United Nations.
We hereby give this irrevocable approval order with Release Code:
GNC/3480/06/2011 in your favor for your contract entitlement/award winning
payment with the UNITED NATION to your nominated
bank account. Now youâre new Payment, United nation Approval
No;UN5685P, White House Approved No:WH44CV, Reference No.35460021,
Allocation No:674632 Password No:339331 , Pin Code No: 55674 and your
Certificate of Merit Payment No : 103, Released Code No: 0763; Immediate
Telex confirmation No: -1114433; Secret Code No:XXTN013.
Having received these vital payment numbers, therefore You are qualified
now to receive and confirm Your payment from the United nations
immediately within the next 72hrs.
You are hereby advice to fill the form below to enable us
submit it to the approved payee bank.
1) Full Names:________________
2) Contact address_________________
3) Direct Telephone No:________________
5) Your Country:___________________
6} Bank details:______________
Mr. Richard Cordray
Executive Director United Nations