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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "consignment " (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)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "come down to london" (these scammers pretend to be based in the UK, but they are really in Africa)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Simons Jean-Paul" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 25 Dec 2013 15:55:20 -0800
Subject: RE-IMMEDIATE PAYMENT NOTIFICATION BENEFICIARY
Our Ref: UN/OHG/OXD1/2013
PAYMENT FILE: UN/EU/DSF/PED/XX01/13.
SUBJECT: RE-IMMEDIATE PAYMENT NOTIFICATION BENEFICIARY
Definitely, I know that this letter will be a surprising one to you. Firstly, I would like to introduce myself formally as Simons Jean-Paul the EU Protocol Officer for External Private Relations United Nations Association (UNA-UK) in conjunction
with European Union Diplomatic Storage Facility London Regional Office. You are been officially contacted by me today because during our last auditing, I came across a group of listed Beneficiaries, whose payment are been delayed by the banks and other Government agents due to one reason or the other. Further to my appraisal, which made me discover that your name was listed and your status has been marked pending for a long time, which had given me thought about contacting you due to your payment funds were recently Re-deposited in the Saudi Arabia Britsh Bank SABB here in London.
Well known to all, The European Union Diplomatic Storage Facility is the mother bank of all diplomatic agency in Europe and World in general. Really these men were unexpected by me because their visit was impromptu. I had to ask them why they came to see us in person and they said that they were here to collect your funds consignment valued US$D 12,500,000 (Twelv e Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) which rightfully belongs to you, on your behalf. At this development, I asked them who authorized them to come down to London for the collection of this payment and they told me that you asked them to come and collect this funds on your behalf.
In fact, this was the biggest shock that this office have ever received so far because your funds is deposited here as personal belongings and yet you sent these men to come and collect this funds on your behalf without notifying us. We in this office do not understand why you sent these men to come and collect your funds on your behalf. You really let us down because the present EU Legislator are the pillar of our set up here and if actually you want them to help you collect your payment valued, at least you should have informed me as the Protocol Officer of this office. Honestly, it really baffles me that you took such decision without my consent. I told them to come back and they promised to come back. As the Protocol Officer of this noble office, I was supposed to release this funds to them but I refused to do so because I wanted to hear from you first. Due to the nature of my job, I will not want to make any mistake in releasing this fund to anyone except you whom is the recognized bone fide beneficia
Though you could still be promised heaven and earth by the so called officials, whom I have discovered are not ready to help you get paid, but frustrate your efforts, which in the end will make you loose hope of ever getting paid if they have not
succeeded already.Most importantly, you should treat this communication with top confidentiality. For the sake of my job security, I deem it pertinent to reinstate that you desist from further contacts with whoever has been handling this transaction on your behalf in the past, as I have been able to sift that it was their inordinate ambition to divert your fund to another account that has put your file to this problem.
As a matter of urgency, you are required to re-confirm to me immediately the follow informations; Your Full Name, Complete Physical Address, Receiving Bank Account Details, Telephone Number and Copy of your Identification such as Int'l Passport Copy or Driving license for onward transfer in your favor without any hesitation. In receipt of this confidential letter, you are also required to Email: firstname.lastname@example.org with the above mentioned information as soon as you receive this message.
Anticipating your prompt response and thanks for your understanding.
Protocol Officer for External Private Relations
Office of United Nations Association (UNA-UK)/European Union D.S.F
International Fund Reconciliation Settlement
London, United Kingdom