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:
- 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:
- "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)
- 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.
- +2348072178475 (Nigeria, prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: "United Nations Human Settlements Board" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 08:17:31 -0400 (EDT)
After several attempt to reach you via your telephone number, I deemed it
necessary and urgent to contact you with your email and to notify you
finally about the outstanding settlement of your compensation which is
being given out by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. This
compensation is being made to all the victims that have lost their
moneythrough any online transactions or as a result of Scam activities. It
has come to our notice that many of you have lost your money by falling
victim to some internet fraudsters.
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT, is the United
Nations agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General
Assembly to promote humanly, socially and environmentally with the goal of
providing adequate shelter for all.
As a result of this scam activities spreading over the internet, the
United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT have decided to get
details of most victims who were previously scammed by these fraudsters.
This Human Settlements Programme is design to compensate every one of you
with the sum of $500,000.00 USD to help settle all your debts and start a
We have concluded all the necessary arrangements towards the release of
your settlement Check sum of $500,000.00 USD with the financial committee
of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme in collaboration with
the United Parcel Service Nigeria LTD (UPS), to deliver the check sum of
$500,000.00 USD which is registered with Ref No: UN013-0156/UPS-UN-HABITAT
to your Compensation Check Parcel.
You are therefore to contact the United Parcel Service Nigeria LTD (UPS),
with the below information in order to claim your compensation check. Take
note that you will be required to pay the shipping/handling charges for
your compensation check to be deliver to you.
Direct Phone number:
United Parcel Service Nigeria LTD
Plot 781 Emeka Anyaoku Street
Area Eleven Garki
Accept our regards.
UN-HABITAT Information Office