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:
- "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)
- "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 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: "UN" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2014 15:02:16 -0800
Subject: I apologize on behalf of the United Nation organization for any delay you might have encountered in
You may not understand why this mail came to you. We have been having
a meeting for quit sometime now and we just came to a logical
conclusion few days ago in affiliation with the World Bank president.
This email is to few well listed people that have been scammed in any
part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS in Affiliation with WORLD BANK
have agreed to compensate them with the sum of USD $1000,000.00 Dollars
These 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
etc. We found your email in the list of those who are to benefit from
these compensation exercise and that is why we are contacting you,
this have been agreed upon and have been signed.
You are advised to contact Dr. P.A. Kuranchie of our paying center in
Africa, as he is our representative in Africa. Contact him immediately
for your Cheque/ International Bank Draft of USD$1000,000.00
Dollars.This fund is in form of a Bank Draft for security purpose ok?
So he will send it to you and you can clear it in any bank of your
choice. Therefore, you should send him your full Name and telephone
number your correct mailing address where you want him to send the
Draft to you. Contact Dr. P.A. Kuranchie of National Investment Bank
Limited PAYMENT CENTER with your payment code: 09051982 immediately
for your Cheque at the given address below:
Bank Name: National Investment Bank Limited
PERSON TO CONTACT: Dr. P.A. Kuranchie
I apologize on behalf of the United Nation organization for any delay
you might have encountered in receiving your fund in the past. Thanks
and God bless you and your family. Hoping to hear from you as soon as
you cash your Bank Draft. Making the world a better place. You are
required to contact the above person and furnish him with the
following of your information that will be required to avoid any
Congratulations, and I look forward to hear from you as soon as you
confirm your payment making the world a better place.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon