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:
- 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:
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "abuja" (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 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" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2010 19:24:22 -0500
Subject: UNITED NATIONS EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM
OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Whitehall Court, London, SW1A 2EL
UNITED NATION'S EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM.
On behalf of UNITED NATION'S Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Mr. Jean-Pierre Gonnot Acting Director, Division for Social Policy and Development. We wish to inform you of your selection as one of our Beneficiary for on going Financial Empowerment Program, according to the meeting held on Commission for Social Development, on 48th session (UN Headquarters, 22nd of June 2010) in collaboration with Barack Hussein Obama's Foundation in United State Of America. All
participants/beneficiaries were selected randomly from Worldwide online networks Directories.
I Ted Turner, UN Foundation Chairman wish to inform you of your selection as one of the Beneficiary of ?2.8 Million Great British Pounds Sterling),for the on going 2010 Financial Empowerment Program worldwide.
So, this letter is to officially inform you that your benefited funds has been accredited into Visa/ATM CARD in your favor, with ATM Card Number (4080 2010 1765 5501); Your Personal Identification Number is 343.
As this office will send to you a Visa/ATM CARD that you will use to withdraw your funds in any ATM MACHINE CENTER or Visa card outlet in the world with a maximum withdrawal of ?5000 GBP daily. Further more, You will be required to re-confirm your Bio Data as stated below to avoid impersonation which will enable The payment committee of UN begin the delivery process of your Visa/ATM CARD.
(10) ATM Card number:
You will be required to send a scanned copy of your passport or any mode of identification.
Take note that you are warned to stop further communications with any other person(s) or office(s) different from the staff of UN Foundation West Africa, Abuja Nigeria to avoid impersonation or hitches in receiving your Empowerment Funds.
NB: This is to Initiate Poverty Eradication Worldwide/International Financial Reform
Forward all your details reply to:
UNITED NATIONS WEST AFRICA, ABUJA NIGERIA
Secretary-General Rev. Michael Bolts
Tel: (+234) 807 266 4115
Department of Public Information,United Nations © 2010
Ted Turner, UN Foundation Chairman
C/O: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Mr. Jean-Pierre Gonnot