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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "Rev, Bourgeois ( UN-NGLS )" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 24 May 2012 12:23:29 -0700
Subject: THE PAYMENT HAS BEEN RECEIVED
It has been brought to our notice that your fundamental human right has been violated in accordance to your funds collection which I presumed you are already familiar about the payment by now ?
Series of meetings have been held over the past Seven (7) months with the secretary general of the United Nations and the NGO humanitarian agency worldwide .This ended 3 days ago in Geneva . It is obvious that you have not received your fund which is to the tune of $ 1,500,000 ( One Million Five hundred thousand United state dollar ) due to past corrupt Governmental Officials who almost held the fund to themselves for their selfish reason and some individuals who have taken advantage of your fund all in an attempt to swindle your fund which has led to so many losses from your end and unnecessary delay in the receipt of your fund.
This is important because the legal department units of the non-governmental organization (NGO) office whom are handling your payment transaction with the finance ministry has successfully retrive your payment ATM card . Which is now with my office at the moment as issued by the finance ministry.The issued premium ATM card allows you to withdraw up to $6,500 per day.Also with the ATM card you will be able to transfer your funds into your local bank account. The ATM card comes with a handbook or manual to enlighten you about how to use it. Even if you do not have a bank account.
The NGO service is an inter-agency programme of the United Nations mandated to promote and develop constructive relations between the United Nations and civil society organizations.In support , the non-governmental organization (NGO) is a non-profit group which is organized on a local, national or international level for the benefits of human race whose rights has been violated and abused .I would like to tender an unreserved apologize on behalf of the finance ministry for the misconduct and maltreatment you have face in recent times in regards to your transaction with the finance ministry .Be rest assured that such an incident will be avoided in the future,thank you and God bless .
I await your urgent response.
Reverend, Bourgeois D ( Director )
United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS)
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org