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:
- 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:
- "hundred thousand united state dollars" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "economic and financial crime commission" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "(efcc)" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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: "MR BAN KI-MOON" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2013 06:16:47 -0600
Subject: UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION IN CONJUNCTION WITH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA
UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION IN CONJUNCTION WITH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA
IN AFFILIATION WITH WORLD BANK.
Hope all is well with you and Your family?, you may not understand why this mail came to you. In regards to the recent meeting between the United Nations and the Present United States Government to restore the dignity and Economy of the Nations,Base on the Agreement with the World Bank Assistance to help and make the world a better place for all with the sole aim of abolishing poverty. We have been having a meeting for the passed 7 months which ended 2 days ago.
The National Central Bureau of Interpol enhanced by the United Nations and Federal Bureau of Investigation have successfully passed a mandate to the current president of Nigeria his Excellency President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to boost the exercise of clearing all foreign debts owed to Foriegners and Compensate all that have lost their hard earned money to the Nigeria Fraudsters.
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 US$8,500,000 ( Eight Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) 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,Contracts Sum, Lottery/Gambling etc.Your name and email was in the list submitted by our Monitoring Teams of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) observers and this is why we are contacting you, this have been agreed upon and have been signed.
You are advised to contact Pastor Henry Green, as he is our representative in Nigeria contact him immediately for your CHEQUE worth the total sum of US$8,500,000 ( Eight Million Five Hundred United State Dollars) This funds are in DRAFT Form for security purpose ok? So he will send it to you via DHL courier company and you can clear the CHEQUE in any bank of your choice in your country.
Contact Him immediately for your cheque Delivery with the following informations.
1. Full name:
2. Phone and Fax number:
3. Address where you want him to send the cheque(P.O Box not acceptable)
4. Your age and current occupation :
Person to Contact: Pastor Henry Green (contact agent)
Phone Number: +234 705444-3013
Give him your File Reference (RE-1077-V) and you are free to contact him via telephone number, it will be better to call him and once you do that he will ask you of your File Reference number which is (RE-1077-V), this file reference number is very important and gives him access to get through to your file and email you back quickly once he confirms your email and your delivery details.
DO NOT SEND MONEY TO ANYONE UNTIL YOU READ THIS.
The actual fees for shipping and insuring of your Draft is $520 but because DHL have temporarily discontinued the C.O.D which gives you the chance to pay when package is delivered for international shipping, We had to sign contract with them for bulk shipping which makes the fees reduce from the actual fee of $520 to $295 nothing more.
Take note that anyone asking you for some kind of money above the usual fee is definitely a fraudster and you will have to stop communication with any other person or office if you have been in contact with any.And we guarantee the receipt of your fund to be successfully delivered to you within the next 48hours after the receipt of payment has been confirmed. We sincerely apologize on behalf of good people of Nigeria for the plight you have gone through in the past years in trying to receive your Fund.
Thanks for adhering to this instructions and once again accept our congratulations.
Good luck and kind regards,
Making the world a better place,
Mr. Ban Ki-Moon Secretary(UNITED NATIONS).