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:
- "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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Bank Ki-Moon" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2011 12:15:35 -0800
Subject: Attention: Beneficiary,
We wish to inform you that the UN / WORLD BANK ORGANIZATION facilitated around-table meetings which just ended some days ago, and it has been agreed upon that compensation payment of US$500,000.00 should be paid to scammed individuals whose Name and E-mail have been chosen through an open E-mail ballot system.Your name were included and that is why we have contacted you.
Also, this includes every foreign contractors 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 etc. Also, we have been receiving complains from beneficiaries informing us that they are yet to receive the payment due scams emanating from Africa as well as MR. JIM OVIA e.t.c. Due to high rate of complains by beneficiaries henceforth, MR. JIM OVIA is no more incharge to make any foreign payment and we will like to get you informed that you will not be receiving your payment through Bank Drafts due to illegal Bank Drafts circulating everywhere and in view of this, beneficiaries are to receive their payments through either direct bank to bank transfer or via ATM CARD through our correspondence payment center in Africa affiliated with Zenith
However, it is my pleasure to inform your ATM CARD no: 5456 72641959 0754 have been reserved for you which contains your certified amount.So you are hereby advised to contact our payment representative in Africa affiliated with ZENITH PAYMENT CENTER with your payment code:82509.You are advised to contact MR. MIKE JONATHAN of our paying center in Africa, as he is our representative in Africa,contact him immediately for your payment.This meeting was first held on the 8th of April 2003. You can view this page for your perusal: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2003/ik344.doc.htm
Therefore,you should send him your full Name and telephone number your correct mailing address where you want to receive your payment:Contact
Name: MR. MIKE JONATHAN:
You are to contact MR. MIKE JONATHAN at the address below:
CONTACT PERSON: MR. MIKE JONATHAN
You are required to contact the above person for your ATM Card, and furnish him with the following of your information that will be required to set-up the card in your name
1. Your Full name:
2. Your Country:
3. Telephone Number:
Meanwhile, your Secret Pin Number will be e-mailed to you electronically for security reasons as soon as you confirm the receipt of your ATM CARD. Congratulations, and I look forward to hear from you as soon as you confirm your payment Making the world a better place.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
NB: Dealing with MR. JIM OVIA is at your own risk