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:
- "consignment " (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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "UNITED NATIONS" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 2010 01:02:47 +0100
Subject: Attention: Beneficiary
OCEANIC BANK COMPENSATION UNIT, IN AFFILIATION WITH THE UNITED NATION.
Due to the petitions received by the UN, The Secretary-General, Ban ki-moon from all over the continent in
regards to the fraudulent activities going on in the West Africa sub-region with security's agent and
diplomats who has been delaying people's funds, consignment and valuables in their custody and demand
outrageous fees to get their consignment released to them. We have been having a meeting which lasted
for 7 months that ended 2 days ago with the former Secretary-General (Hon. Kofi Annan) to the UNITED
NATIONS in Conjunction with the EFCC. However, We went to the African head quarters in NIGERIA on the
15TH JULY 2008 to set up this committee with a sole aim of settling all these anomalties and due to that,
we are contacting you today in that regards.
This email is to all people that have been scammed in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS have
agreed to compensate them with the sum of USD 1,500,000,00. 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 Governmental problems etc. We found your name in our list and
that is why we are contacting you, these have been agreed upon and have been duly signed by the UN
Secretary-General, Ban ki-moon . Therefore, we are happy to inform you that an arrangement has perfectly
been concluded to effect your payment as soon as possible in our bid to be very transparent. However, it is
our pleasure to inform you that your ATM Card Number; 5428 0500 1100 4432 has been approved and
upgraded in your favor. Meanwhile, your Secret Pin Number will be available as soon as you confirm to us
the receipt of your ATM CARD. The ATM Card Value is 1,500,000 USD Only. You are advised that a
maximum withdrawal value of USD20,000.00 is permitted daily.
And its is duly inter-switched and you can make withdrawal in any location of the ATM Center of your
choice/nearest to you any where in the world. We have also concluded delivery arrangement with our
accredited courier service Company to oversee the delivery of the ATM Card to you without any further
delay. Be informed that your response would be by email Only. Any further delay will be the pleasure of the
UNRC to use your fund to help the people who have been displaced in Darfur, Sudan Africa which you can
see it in this site www.savedarfur.org and the Tsunami's victims in Asia. So you are hereby advice to
forward your full Names, telephone number and your direct contact address to.
The DESK of Apostle (Dr.) Hayford Ikponmwonsa Alile
Director ATM SWIFT CARD Dept.
OCEANIC BANK INTERNATIONAL
We are working according to the constitution binding this committee as well as helping the less privilege
through this means. You will be required to contact the above mentioned institution via this email address:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Hoping to hear from you asap.