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)
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ban Ki-Moon" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2012 17:32:00 -0400
Subject: UN NATIONS COMPENSATION!!
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and family? 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 NATIONS.
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. Bret Wilson of BLAKWOODS INTERNATIONAL BANK UNITED KINGDOM, as he is our representative in Malaysia, 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 means of your choice.
You are advice to get in contact with Mr.Bret Wilson and provide him with below information.
Person to Contact Mr. Bret Wilson.
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
UN Secretary General.