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:
- 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:
- "million dollars" (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 11:24:34 +0100
Subject: GOOD NEWS.
UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION UNIT, IN AFFILIATION WITH WORLD BANK
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Palais Wilson 52 rue des Piques CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland, In collaboration with World bank Switzerland hereby address this email to you, in accordance with our meeting which ended two days ago.
Compliment of the season, how are you doing, am sorry if you receive this message in SPAM folder kindly move it to in-box.
I am Mrs. Christen Redman, Vice of the Mass Public Announcer to United Nations, I was instructed to contact you by Mr. Ban Ki-Moon the U-N Secretary general in regards to our last meeting for this year 2011.
>From our Report for the year we receive a confirmation that you where among the scam victims, meanwhile the Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon of United Nations has agreed to Compensate you with the sum of $1000,000 USD (One Million Dollars) each and also to pay 30 other victims from your country who has been Victims of Internet scam, your email was in the list submitted for this payment as one of the scammed victims to be paid this amount.
Also this compensation exercise organized by the Scammed Victims Reconciliation Commission, extended to victims of Hurricane, earthquake, War displaced and Aged. Anyone who is a victim of the above mentioned is liable to benefit from this compensation exercise.
Meanwhile your payment has been signed and endorsed, therefore we wish to inform you that our new reliable United Nations Bank is in Bangkok-Thailand.
You are advised to contact Mr. Joseph Musah, as he is our representative in Thailand, he will direct you on how to contact the bank for your payment.
Contact Person: Mr. Joseph Musah
Please Re-send him the following details such as
1. Your Full Name:
2. Your Direct Mobile No:
3. Your Age and Occupation:
4. Your Home or Office Address:
Making the world a better place
Mrs. Christine Redman
Public Announcer of Secretary-General