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:
- "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.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Carman L. Lapointe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2011 08:18:46 -0500
Subject: UNITED NATION COMPENSATION.SEEKS YOUR IMMEDIATE RESPONSE
REF: INSTRUCTION TO CREDIT YOUR BANK ACCOUNT
After our crucial meeting held on the 21st Sep 2011, by the US secretary of state and the United Nation Secretary General, In respect of all unpaid Contract Payment, Inheritance payment and compensation to victims who has fallen into the West Africa Scam. A committee has been put in place for a payout/Compensation to all beneficiary of Contract payment, Inheritance Payment and Victims of Scam in the United States, European Region and Asia, Africans are not included
This office hereby writes to inform you that your payment worth US$850,000.00 United States Dollar has automatically been approved for immediate release through the United Nation Office in Cambodia, Your contract payment/ Compensation has been mandated to be paid out only via An automated teller machine (ATM) or automatic banking machine (ABM) what is a computerized telecommunications device that provides the clients of a financial institution with access to financial transactions in a public space without the need for a cashier, human clerk or bank teller
The accredited Finance House (Frontline Finance House) has been chosen for the release of all beneficiaries ATM or ABM CARD. We hereby advice you to put a stop to all transaction that you have involved yourself.
Be rest assured that after verification of your mail and processing for the release, your ATM or ABM CARD will be release within 72 hours of your accreditation which you can make withdraw of $10,000 us Dollars on any ATM Machine in your location daily bases.
Reply should be sent to:- Honorable Collins
Mobile Number:- +234 806 061 7554
From: Ms. Carman L. Lapointe
Head Of United Nations Under-Secretary-
General For Internal Oversight Services