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:
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "transfer into your 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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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.
- +447045713697 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "UNITED NATION PAYMENT APPROVAL" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 16:41:32 +0200
Subject: FOREIGN CONTRACT/WINNING PAYMENT BUREAU
LONDON UNITED KINGDOM
UNITED NATION PAYMENT APPROVAL
OFFICE Special Duties/Logistics Department
FOREIGN CONTRACT/WINNING PAYMENT BUREAU
Our Ref: CITIBANK/LONDON/HALIFAX BANK/UK
Your Ref 25321/imf/us/09/2010
UNITED NATION AND EUROPEAN UNION OFFICIAL SETTLEMEMT PAYMENT VALUED 750,
000 pounds The Review and Decision of the UN Ad-Hoc Executive Committee on
In reference to the meeting held by the UN Ad-Hoc Executive Committee on
Grant Award Payment in collaboration with US Government, which comprises
of 10 adjudicators Teams headed by the UN Executive Secretary, Ban Ki
Moon, UN President Mr. Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann,Federal Reserve Bank
Chairman,Ben Bernanke, Representative of Office of Citizen Services and
Communications,U.S. General Services Administration Director Scott D.
Burford , Central Intelligence Agency CIA, represented by the Office of
the Public Affairs Mark Mansfield, The representatives of Federal Bureau
Investigation FBI, Amy Gutmann, The United Nation US envoy and the
International Monetary Fund IMF New York officials , The Interpol
President and Secretary Ronald Noble and the Nat West Bank Plc,London,
THIS OFFICE: FUND PAYMENT COMMITTEE IN CONJUNCTION WITH OVERSEAS CREDIT
COMMISSION has been mandated to Make pay all outstanding debts
your name and Particulars were discovered as next on the list due for
outstanding payment of 750, 000.pounds(seven hundred and fifty thousand
As a matter of fact, you are required to Deal and Communicate only with
REV. KENNETH BROWN,INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND UNITED KINGDOM,
NOTE THAT THESE DETAILS ARE VERY IMPORTANT FOR YOUR PAYMENT
Your Full Name:
Your valid Mobile Number:
Date of birth:
Your account info for wire transfer into your account:
Info for western union money transfer
REV. KENNETH BROWN.
MRS SUSSAN RICE
CHAIRMAN COMMITTE ON FOREIGN CONTRACT/AWARD WINING PAYMENT UNITED NATION
AND USA GOVERNMENT