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:
- "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.
- 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: "United Nations" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2010 06:25:52 -0700
Subject: YOUR PAYMENT IS READY !
UNITED NATIONS/WORLD BANK ORGANIZATION ASSISTED PROGRAM
UNITED NATIONS LIAISON OFFICE,
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and family?. Well, I assume that you may not understand why this message was sent to you. But I wish to inform
you that the UNITED NATIONS/WORLD BANK ORGANIZATION facilitated a round-table meeting which just ended 2 days ago, and it has been agreed upon by both organizations that a compensation payment of US$500,000.00 should be paid to 350 individuals whose Name and E-mail were selected randomly through an E-mail ballot system.
Your name was among the lists of individual selected to benefit at this end of the year compensation program, and that is why we have contacted you. The UNITED NATIONS & WORLD BANK ORGANIZATION have agreed to compensate you and other listed 350 individuals with a sum of US$500,000.00 each to compensate you for your loss which you might have had in the past in the hands of unscrupulous/Fraudulent officials.
This includes all foreign contractors that may have not received their contract payment, and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international
businesses that failed in the past due to corrupt Government officials e.t.c.
Therefore, we are glad to inform you that a suitable arrangement has been put to place for you to receive your payment in good condition without any delay.
However,it is my pleasure to announce to you that an A.T.M CARD no; 5456 7264 1959 0754 has been reserved for you which will be funded with your compensation payment of US$500,000.00, and sent to your door-step.
You are hereby advised to contact MR. JOHN FLETCHER, the CEO, UNION BANK PLC for immediate issuance and delivery of your A.T.M card at the address listed below:
CONTACT PERSON: Mr. John Fletcher
You are required to contact the above person for your A.T.M Card, and furnish him with the following of your information that will be required to set-up the card in your name.
1. Your Full Name:
2. Mailing Address:
3. Your Age,Occupation & Marital Status:
4. Phone Number:
Meanwhile, you will receive your Pin Code which you will require to gain access to your card as soon as you have confirmed the receipt of your A.T.M Card in your custody. Congratulations, and we are sorry for whatsoever trouble you might have gone through in the past.
I look forward to hearing from you as soon as you confirm your payment. Making the world a better place.
Dr. Ban Ki moon.