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:
- "consignment " (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)
- "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)
- ",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)
- "you are advise to" (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 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ban Ki-moon" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2012 00.36.16 +0200
Subject: Attention: Sir/Madam
Due to the petitions received by the UN, I Secretary-General Ban ki-moon from all over the continent in regards to the fraudulent activities going on in the West Africa sub-region with security's agent and diplomats who has been delaying people's funds, consignment and valuables in their custody and demand outrageous fees to get their consignment released to them.
We have been having a meeting for the passed 4 months which ended 2 days ago with the former Secretary-General (Hon. Kofi Annan) to the UNITED NATIONS. However, We went to the African head quarters in NIGERIA as well as other affiliate offices and set up this committee with sole aim of settling all these anomalies and due to that we are contacting you today in that regards. This email is to all people that have been scammed in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensate them with the sum of USD 1,500,000,00 This 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, these have been agreed upon and have been duly signed.Therefore, we are happy to inform you that an arrangement has perfectly been concluded to effect your payment as soon as possible in our bid of transparency. However, it is our pleasure to inform you that your fund has been approved and upgraded in your favor which will be credited into your nominated bank account via (KTT) Bank to Bank Telex Teleraphic Transfer and Your transfer code number is: TT20/K232/99 take note of this code for security reasons.
Be informed that your response would be by telephone or through email Only. Any further delay will be the pleasure of the UNRC to use your fund to help the people who have been displaced in Darfur, Sudan Africa which you can see it in this site www.savedarfur.org and the Tsunami's victims in Asia. So you are hereby advice to forward you whole information to my appointed secretary Mrs. Elizabeth Williams, you should send her your full Name and telephone number/your correct mailing address where you want her to send the fund to.
Person to Contact: Mrs. Elizabeth Williams
Cell phone +234-8037123164
We are working according to the constitution binding this committee as well as helping the less privilege through this means. You will be required to contact the above mentioned institution via telephone or email. Hoping to hear from you as soon as you receive your fund.
Making the world a better place
Mr. Ban Ki-moon
(Secretary-General UNITED NATIONS).
If you have received this email in error. You are advise to delete this email or destroy the content of this email. Do not reply this email Contact the person above directly.