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:
- 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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- +447035962470 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "GENERAL JON WELLS" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2011 10:59:15 +0800
Subject: U.N. COMPENSATION COMMISSION PAYS OUT $864 MILLION:.
UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION COMMISSION PAYS OUT $864 MILLION
(Reissued as received.)
This is to notify you that we have your fund of USD$1,500,000.00 with us here in the UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION COMMISSION OFFICE. We have been having meetings for the passed 7 months which ended 4 days ago with the secretary to the UNITED NATIONS Ban Ki-moon. This email is to all the people that have been scammed in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION COMMISSION have agreed to compensate them with the sum of $800,000 USD EACH. This includes every foreign contractor, inheritance, lottery that may have not received their contract sum, and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government problems or scammers, and also freely awarded individuals etc. You can view this page for your perusal:
The United Nations Compensation Commission(UNCC)has made available a total of $863,725,490 to 27 governments and two international organizations for distribution to 370 successful claimants which you are one. This payment is made under the third phase of the payment mechanism established by the UNCC Governing Council.
We found your name and address in our list and that is why we are contacting you, this have been agreed upon and have been signed.You are advised to contact Ms. Laura George of our paying center in London, United Kingdom, as she is our representative in London, contact her immediately for your Cheque / International Bank Draft of $800,000 USD, this funds are in a Bank Draft for security purpose ok? so she will send it to you and you can clear it in any bank of your choice.
1) YOUR FULL NAME:
2) ADDRESS, CITY, STATE AND COUNTRY:
3) PERSONAL CELL PHONE AND FAX:
4) OCCUPATION, AGE AND MARITAL STATUS:
5) COPY OF YOUR INT'L PASSPORT/DRIVERS LICENSE FOR PROPER IDENTIFICATION:
Note: Your Personal Contact/Communication Code With BOA Is (011), You Are Advised To Send Your Full Information To the International Remittance Director Headed By Laura George And Make Sure You Speak With Her, With Your New Payment Code For The Release Of Your Payment And Send To Her All Your Information Now. The only money you will pay is just 350 USD for the paper works, take note of that.
Contact Barrister (Ms) Laura George immediately for your Cheque:
Person to Contact: Ms. Laura George
Un Agent Officer (UNITED KINGDOM, UNITED NATIONS).
Thanks and God bless you and your family. Hoping to hear from you as soon as you cash your Bank Draft.
Making the world a better place.
General Jon Wells