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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "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: "UNITED NATIONS" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2012 13:23:17 -0400
Subject: RE: YOUR COMPENSATION VALUED US$3.5 MILLION
UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION COMMISSION, IN AFFILIATION WITH THE WORLD BANK.
Our Ref: WB/NF/UNCC/KB027.
RE: YOUR COMPENSATION PAYMENT VALUED US$3.5 MILLION
This is to bring to your notice that during the last annual calculations carried by the UN from Banks across the UK, ASIA & AFRICA and AMERICA, Billions of unsettled debts were found floating in accounts in various banks owed to various Contractors & Individuals from different part of the world. Your name was found on the list of those whose contract/Inheritance was not paid out to due to corrupt officials and problems arising from government e.t.c.
The UNITED NATIONS IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE WORLD BANK ORGANIZATION have agreed in a meeting held recently reached a conclusion that a compensation valued US$3.5 MILLION should be paid out each to individuals whose Names & E-mail Address were drawn automatically through an E-mail ballot machine system at this year ongoing compensation program. Your E-mail Address was selected and that is why you have received this mail to notify you as a beneficiary entitled to the above mentioned payment. This compensation scheme was set up by the United Nations in a bid to compensate people who might have been scammed or had business transactions which failed in the past due to one problem or the other.
Be informed that this funds will be paid out to you via issuance of an ATM Debit Card which will be credited with your funds and dispatched to your designated address. Meanwhile, your PIN number will be furnished to you upon receipt of your card in your possession.
To redeem your funds, You are hereby instructed by this office to contact the paying Institute in Africa (Zenith Bank Plc) for immediate release of your funds to you via ATM Card at the below address.
Bank Name: Zenith Bank Plc
Person To Contact: Mr. John Fletcher
Telephone: +234 703 557 8881.
You are further instructed to provide to the above bank (Zenith Bank) the following information listed below to proceed with the preliminary arrangements that will enhance the immediate release of your funds.
The information you are to send to the above named bank is as follow:
1. Your Full Name :
2. Your Home/Mobile Telephone No:
3. Your Home or Office Address :
4. Age/Occupation/Marital Status:
5. Scanned copy of your identification:
Thanks for your patience, and do contact us in the near future when you have successfully received your payment.
Ms. Valerie Amos.
United Nations Under Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs,
Emergency Relief Coordinator.