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:
- "consignment " (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)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "David Nicolay" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2010 05:15:33 -1200
Subject: -------------GOOD--NEWS FOR YOU-----------------
Due to the petitions received by the UN, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon from all over the continent in regards to the fraudulent activities going on in the World especially the United States with security agent and diplomats who has been delaying people's funds, consignment and valuables in their custody and demand outrageous fees to get their consignment released to them. It was resolved after the Board meeting held by the Ministry of Finance, Federal Reserve Bank and other offices to release all outstanding unfinished transaction or International Fund transfer that failed due to Government problems such as inheritance/contract fund.
This email is to all people that have been scammed in any part of the World, while the sum of USD$500,000.00 has been approved for the compensation to every foreigners that may have not received their contract/inheritance sum, and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Fraudulent attempts and various Government problems, etc. Mr David Nicolay, the Director Foreign Remittance Department of the UN has been appointed for the settlement of your entitlement. And because of so many International Banking rules unfavorable to 3rd world countries in regards to transfer of large amount of monies, the Federal Ministry of Finance via the Federal Government has decided to settle all foreign payment Delivering your fund directly to you at the airport of your aboard.
Kindly verify your information again
1. Full Name
2. Residential Address
5. Direct Telephone Numbers
6. A Copy of Your Identification
The contact details of Mr David Nicolay are given below:
This information is to be made available immediately so that your Funds can be issued under the provided name.
Waiting for your immediate reply.