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:
- 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:
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "FROM: MR. BRIAN SMITH" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 01:12:04 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: FROM: MR. BRIAN SMITH
FROM: MR. BRIAN SMITH
CHAIRMAN; United Nations Funds Clearance Authority (UNFCA).
TOP URGENT ATTENTION OF: Attn: Beneficiary
BONAFIDE BENEFICIARY OF:US$12.5million
REALISTIC SUCCESS ON THE RELEASE OF YOUR US$12.5million
The United Nations Funds' Clearance Authority (UNFCA) hereby write to inform you that everything is officially SET towards ensuring the perfect remittance of your approved amount of US$12.5million Our utmost priority is to ensure maximum security of your Funds' remittance and also to protect the movement of the US$12.5million perfecting its movement successfully into your own nominated bank account in USA.
It has official come to our notice that wrong people are contacting you from Access Bank, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and also from a Fake Bank in Houston, Texas, USA. We have Petitioned all the fraudulent and faceless hoodlums that have been posing themselves with bogus impersonations and trying to extort money from you.
This UNFCA (United Nations Funds Clearance Authority) are presently in the CRUSADE of redeeming many people from several countris (expecially Americans) from the clutches of evil peoples, deceivers and fraudsters that the devil is presently using to poison the joy of honest men abroad. I wonder why people should be used by satan to defraud innocent gentlemen and confuse/ divert their contract payments at last. We have received so many petitioned in this UNFCA Office to that effect and the Disciplinary Department of UNFCA are presently tracing the hide-outs of the culprits.
We hereby assure you that the favour of God have located your Payment Approved File and you shall NO MORE fall into the evil net of fradulent people. If you are christian, I want you to read this portion from the Holy Bible (Isaiah chapter 44 verse 25 and Book of Job chapter 5 verse 12). I tell you emphatically that this is the END of those evil doers, we must apprehend and prosecute them accordingly. God will surely disappoint their evil desires because we have come to deliver you from their devilish hands. And, this UNFCA Office must also ensure that your approved amount of US$12.5million shall reach your bank account in USA within the next three working days. Your constant communication is Important.
You can also send all your contact and banking information to this Office via email. Make sure to also send your Proof of Indentification which can either be your International Passport OR Drivers Licence as that will prove to this Office that we are dealing with the actual (Attn: Beneficiary)
whose name appears clearly in our Payment Allocation File as the entitled bonafide beneficiary of US$12.5million.
MAKE SURE YOU DON'T PAY ANY MONEY TO ANYBODY UNLESS CLEARED AND CONFIRMED FROM THIS UNFCA OFFICE. BE WARDED!!!
Congratulations for magnificient success. Awaiting your fastest reply today.
MR. BRIAN SMITH
REPRESENTANTE FUNDO MONITORIA INTERNACIONAL DE NACIONAL UNIDAS (UNIMF)
United Nations' (UNFCA) Secretariat Office in UK.