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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "into your nominated bank account" (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 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" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2012 11:59:35 +1000
Subject: DO YOU AUTHORISE THIS WOMAN, WE NEED CONFIRMATION
FROM THE DESK OF MR.MARK JOHN.
DIRECTOR UNITED NATIONS DELEGATES .
OUR REF: UN/IRD/CBX/028/2012
ATTN: CERTIFIED BENEFICIARY,
RELEASE OF YOUR OVER DUE CONTRACT/INHERITANCE FUNDS.
THIS IS TO NOTIFY YOU THAT YOUR OVER DUE INHERITANCE FUNDS HAS BEEN GAZETTE TO BE RELEASED, VIA KEY TELEX TRANSFER (KTT) -DIRECT WIRE TRANSFER TO YOU THROUGH ANY OF OUR CORRESPONDENT BANK NOMINATED BY THE SENATE COMMITTEE FOR FOREIGN OVER DUE FUND TRANSFER.
MEANWHILE, A WOMAN CAME TO MY OFFICE FEW DAYS AGO WITH A LETTER, CLAIMING TO BE YOUR TRUE REPRESENTATIVE. HERE ARE HER INFORMATION FOR YOU TO CONFIRM TO THIS OFFICE IF THIS WOMAN IS TRULY FROM YOU OR NOT AS THE UNITED NATIONS WILL NOT BE HELD
RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING INTO THE WRONG ACCOUNT-
NAME:MRS PAMELA DONEGAN
BANK NAME: CITI BANK
BANK ADDRESS: ARIZONA, USA.
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 6503809428.
PLEASE, DO RECONFIRM TO THIS OFFICE, AS A MATTER OF URGENCY IF THIS WOMAN IS FROM YOU. YOU ARE REQUESTED TO FILL AND SEND THIS INFORMATION FOR VERIFICATIONS PURPOSES SO THAT YOUR FUNDS AMOUNTING TO US$4.5M US DOLLARS WILL BE REMITTED INTO YOUR NOMINATED BANK ACCOUNT.
THIS FUND IS AS A RESULT OF INHERITANCE ON YOUR BEHALF. INFORMATION NEEDED FROM YOU FOR VERIFICATION IS AS FOLLOW:
1. YOUR FULL NAME AND ADDRESS:
2. YOUR FULL BANKING DETAILS
3. YOUR TELEPHONE/ FAX :
5. YOUR PASSPORT/DRIVERS LICENSE.
6. YOUR OCCUPATION.
AS SOON AS WE RECEIVE THIS, WE WILL COMMENCE WITH ALL NECESSARY PROCEDURES IN OTHER TO REMIT THIS MONEY INTO YOUR ACCOUNT.THE WORLD BANK AND I.M.F. IN AGREEMENT WITH THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY,THE SENATE COMMITTEE FOR FOREIGN OVER DUE INHERITANCE FUND HAVE APPROVED AND ACCREDITED THIS REPUTABLE BANK WITH THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE/FOREIGN OPERATIONS,TO HANDLE AND TRANSFER ALL FOREIGN INHERITANCE FUNDS THIS FIRST QUARTER PAYMENT OF THE YEAR 2012 IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTION ON DEBT SETTLEMENT.
HOWEVER, WE SHALL PROCEED TO ISSUE ALL PAYMENTS DETAILS TO THE SAID MRS.DONEGAN, IF WE DO NOT HEAR FROM YOU WITHIN THE NEXT SEVEN WORKING DAYS FROM TODAY. WE ARE SORRY FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE IN TRANSFERRING OF THIS FUND MUST HAVE CAUSED YOU THOUGH IT WAS DUE TO OUR BUSY SCHEDULE IN PAYING OTHER BENEFICIARIES WHOM THEIR FILES HAVE BEEN CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.
WE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU AS SOON AS POSSIBLE THROUGH THIS E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
MR. MARK JOHN.
DIRECTOR UNITED NATIONS DELEGATES