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.
- 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.
- +447024072729 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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 Unit" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 00:56:10 -0000
Subject: Attention: Sir/madam,
United Nations Compensation Unit
In affiliation with World Bank
From: Special Envoy to
Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon
On behalf of THE UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION, I Mrs. Sarah Smith wishes to pass this message across to you.
The United Nations in Affiliation with World Bank have agreed to compensate all scammed victims from all part of the world with the average sum of USD$1Million for self support irrespective of the amount lost in the act. This is regarding the draws organized lately to help individuals whom lost their earnings in this act and to build organizations so as to help the less privileged in the society.
This compensation exercise is also extended to victims of Hurricane, earthquake, War displaced and the aged. Anyone who is a victim of the above mentioned is entitled to benefit from this compensation exercise. According to our records 84 beneficiaries have been paid, half of the victims are from the United States. We still have 16 beneficiaries/victims left to be paid their compensations of $1Million each.
You are therefore advised to contact Mr. Jonathan Roy (Lawyer) our co coordinator/payment officer in the United Kingdom, via e-mail address and telephone contact below:
Jonathan Roy (Lawyer)
Phone: +44 702 4072729
You are further advised to send the following details to him through his above email: full Names... telephone number.... Postal Address...Scanned copy of your international passport, driver's license or any form of identification for our perusal, records update and reference. I apologize on behalf of the organization for any delay you might have encountered in receiving your fund in the past.
Hope to hear from you, as soon as you get in contact with Mr. Jonathan Roy and successfully receive your compensation fund. Making the world a better place! Signed and endorsed.
Sarah Smith (Announcer)
Office of Secretary- General, Ban Ki-Moon.
United Nations. Organisation.