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:
- "00,000.00" (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 advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "United Nation Representative" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2012 05:33:56 +0200
Subject: REF/PAYMENTS CODE:06654
SCAMMED VICTIM/521 BENEFICIARIES REF/PAYMENTS CODE:06654 $400,000.00 USD ONLY
This is to bring to your notice that I am a delegate from the United
Nations to The IMF (International Monetary Fund) West Africa Regional
Payment Office to pay 521 scam victims $400,000.00 USD (Four Hundred
Thousand Dollars only) each. You are listed and approved for this payment
as one of the scammed victims to be paid this amount,get back to me as
soon as possible for the immediate payments of your $400,000 USD
compensations funds.On this faithful recommendations, I want you to know
that during the last U.N. meetings held at Abuja, Federal Republic of
Nigeria, it was alarmed so much by the world in the meetings on the lost
of funds by various individual to scam artist operating in syndicates all
over the world today.In other to compensate these victims, the U.N Body is
now paying 521 victims of this operators $400,000.00 USD each in
accordance with the U.N .recommendations. Due to the corrupt and
in-efficient Banking Systems in Federal Republic of Nigeria, the payments
are to be paid by UN officials sitting at IMF(International Monetary Fund)
West Africa Regional Payment Office as corresponding payment center under
funding assistance by United Nation body. According to the number of
applicants at hand,284 Beneficiaries has been paid, half of the victims
are from the United States, and we still have more 237 left to be paid the
compensations of $400,000.00 USD each. Your particulars was mentioned by
one of the Syndicates who was arrested as one of their victims of the
operations, you are hereby warned not to communicate or duplicate this
message to him for any reason what so ever as the U.S. Secret service is
already on trace of the other criminals. So keep it secret till they are
all apprehended. Other victims who have not been Contacted can submit
their application as well for scrutiny and possible consideration.Send the
To HSBC BANK REPRESENTATIVE
Name: Rev.Taylor Harris
Please you are advice to stop any communication with any person or Body
that you are currently paying money to due to transaction which you have
online with the person.Please let us know right now via email or telephone
your present dealing online,so we can help you verify the authenticity of
the transaction which you are presently involved in,so you don't get
scammed.Please also send me proof of payment in any previous scam.If you
still have any,(optional).I shall feed you with further modalities as soon
as I hear from you.Do feel free to call me any time on my telephone
Mrs Joy Steven
United Nation Representative