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:
- The following fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "diplomatic delivery" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "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.
- +447045728889 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2013 11:37:29 +0100
Subject: RE: UNITED NATION COMPENSATION UNIT
COMPENSATION UNIT APPROVED CHEQUE.
This is to inform you, that cheque of GBP2, 000 000 00 (TWO
MILLION GREAT BRITISH POUNDS) has been issued in your name
and approved by the united nation unit; this is to
compensate all LOTTO WINNERS/INTERNET SCAM VICTIM & WORLD
WIDE WEB (WWW) users.Please forward all required details to
us and make your choice of transaction from the options, for
the immediate remittance of your FUND.
DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBER:
A SCAN COPY OF YOUR DRIVING LICENSE OR INTERNATIONAL
OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT.
(1)BANK TO BANK WIRE TRANSFER (SEND YOUR FULL BANKING
(2) COURIER DIPLOMATIC DELIVERY, DELIVER YOUR FUND IN CASH.
UNITED NATION (UK) OFFICE LINE +44 7045 728 889
ONCE AGAIN CONGRATULATION.
UNITED NATION COMPENSATION UNIT.