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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "UNITED NATIONS" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2012 16:59:01 -0500
Subject: YOUR PAYMENT IS READY !
PAYMENT REVIEW PANEL
UNITED NATIONS DELEGATED G20 MEETING
WIRE TRANSFER/AUDIT UNIT
Our Ref: DBG/AFP/UN/XX0600
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.
Based on the new fiat order given by the United Nation and World Bank Organization, I hereby inform you that it was agreed by the above mentioned bodies that a compensation payment in tune of US$3.5 Million should be paid out each to individuals whose E-mail were selected. Your E-mail was drawn automatically through automated ballot machine, and your name qualified as one of individuals entitled to receive the above mentioned fund at this year ongoing compensation program organized by the United Nations in the bid to compensate contractors/Individuals who might have been scammed in the past or have had unfinished transaction which failed due to corrupt officials in various government offices.
You are hereby instructed to contact the payment center in Africa for directives on how to receive your funds at the address below:
Name: Mr. James Morgan
Phone: +234 703 557 8881.
You are to fill and send the below information to the above name for processing of your payment:
1. Your Name:
2. Your Full Address:
3. Your Home/Mobile #:
4. Age/ Sex / occupation:
5. Scanned copy of your identification:
We are sorry for whatsoever inconvenience this might have caused you.