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:
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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: "FROM UNITED NATIONS OFFICE" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2012 14:37:25 +0400
Subject: STOP CONTACTING THE WRONG OFFICE FOR YOUR FUND
UNITED NATIONS: (We the people... A stronger UN for a better world)
You may not understand why this email came to you. We have been having a meeting for the passed 7 months which ended 2 days ago with the then secretary to the UNITED
This email is to all the people that have been scammed in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensate them with the sum of USD$850,000 (Eight
hundred and fifty thousand United State Dollars Only), This also includes every foreign contractors that may have not received their contract sum, and people that have
had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government problems etc.
We found your name in our list and that is why we are contacting you, this has been agreed upon and have been signed. You are advised to contact Mr. Donald Uzo as he
is our representative in Nigeria, contact him immediately for your payment of USD$850,000 (Eight hundred and fifty thousand United State Dollars Only) which way you
need the fund to be delivered. So he will send it to you and you can clear it in any bank of your choice.
You are advice to get in contact with Mr. Donald Uzo and provide him with below information.
Person to Contact Mr. Donald Uzo
Thanks and God bless you and your family. Hoping to hear from you as soon as you cash your Fund.
Making the world a better place.
Mr. Ban Ki-Moon