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:
- "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)
- "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: "MR. LUIS MORGAN" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 14:22:42 -0400
Subject: FROM UNITED NATIONS
RE: INSTRUCTIONS TO TRANSFER YOUR OVER-DUE PART-PAYMENT VALUED $5.6M
We are pleased to inform you that your over-due payment has been
approved in this second quarter payment for 2011. based on series of
petitions we received from International Bodies such as Co-operate
Bodies and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)on the inability of
some Government of different countries in the World, Commercial banks
and World Lottery Organization to settle their clients Contract debt,
Inheritance Fund and Winning prize fund.After an extensive close door
meeting between the Board of Directors of WORLD BANK AND INTERNATIONAL
MONETARY FUND), It was resolved and agreed upon that the United
Nations will work extensively to ensure that all outstanding Contract
Payment, Inheritance and Lottery Winning prize fund will be paid
without any hitch and delay through the European Bank.
It may interest you to know that during our investigation, we
uncovered an outstanding unpaid/unclaimed sum of money in your
name and a mandate has been given to our committee and the World Bank,
to contact you for the payment of your funds. Records before me
revealed that your payment has not been effected as a result of
official negligence as your fund has been identified as either as
ghost file, unclaimed deposit, winning fund and over-invoiced sum etc.
I write to inform you that we have concluded all the necessary
arrangements toward the release of your payment.
I write to inform you that part-payment of $5,600,000.00( Five Million
Six Hundred Thousand United States Dollar Only) has
been approved in your favour.Based on the information received from
our corresponding office, as the real beneficiary of the
said fund, Please confirm
(1) Your full name
(2) Full contact address
(3) Direct phone and fax numbers.
(4) Any form of identifications
Send the above information to Mr.Steve Moore with information below
for your fund release process.
Name: Mr.Steve Moore
You are advised not to accept email or phone call that does not come
from this office in regards to your payment to avoid diversion of your
fund to an unknown bank account.
Accept our Congratulation in advance.