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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. GEORGE EZE" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2010 09:38:39 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Change of Ownership of your $5,000,000.00
I wish to introduce myself to you properly, as the new Appointed Fraud Alert Department in United Nations Fund Release Department here in Nigeria, I hereby send to you the information submitted in my desk last week by Mr. Harrison Dung Lee of H. Dung Hong Kong Group Ltd, with a letter of changing of funds ownership.
Mr. Harrison Dung confirmed to us that you instructed him to stand on your behalf to receive your approved claims of $5,000,000.00 to his Hong Kong bank account.
This as a matter of urgency because we do not want to transfer the $5,000.000,00 to wrong person especially now that there is so many scam and fraudulent activities going on all over the word so we want to know first if you instructed the above name to receive your approved $5,000,000.00 on your behalf.
You are required to verify the following information and inform us if you are aware or k now anything about this.
1. Did you instruct one Mr. Harrison Dung Lee of H. Dung ong Kong Group Ltd, whose Information's is below, to claim and receive your $5,000,000.00 on your behalf ?
2. Did you sign any " Change of Funds Ownership" in favor of Mr. Harrison Dung Lee thereby making him the current beneficiary / to receive your $5,000,000.00 with the following account details?
Bank Name: Standard Chartered Bank, ( Hong Kong )
Account Name: H. Dung ong Kong Group Ltd
In Favor of: Mr. Harrison Dung Lee
Account # 114-1025567-8
Swift Code: SCBL 11K111
Finally, Advice if you sent Mr. Harrison Dung Lee to receive your funds on your behalf, and if you have anything to do with the above stated account, as I asked him to come back in a week time, and if I do not hear from you till then, I will not have any choice than to effect the payment in the name and account given to me.
Send your direct cell phone numbers and full address to my private email to verify this: (email@example.com)
For more vital information, please visit http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2003/ik344.doc.htm
We wait to hear from you soonest, and be rest assured of our professional service.
Mr. George Eze
Fraud Alert Department
United Nations Fund Release Department