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 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)
- "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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "United Nation" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2014 06:32:46 -0600
Subject: REF: ACCRUED INTEREST PAYMENT
INTERNATIONAL RECONCILIATION AND LOGISTICS VAULT, UNITED NATIONS OFFICE (UN) COMPENSATION SETTLEMENT OF ESCROW ACCOUNTS.
It is a pleasure to write you that we have reconciled with our logistic department on the reimbursement of some fund spent by you during the cause of your inadequate dealings with some imposters who claim to be staff in banks and other regional payment centers. Our reconciliation teams with the prospectus instrument of the United Nations after freezing suspected imposters account. This support was fully effective with the help of World Bank after a summit meeting in London, on the financial analysis and financial stability issues fluctuating the economy with the international global standard.
After gathering of this sum, our logistic department gave us a list of beneficiaries to be paid a sum of Three Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only ($3,500,000.00) United States Dollars who fell victims to these imposters due to unawareness. And mode of payment was as well specified for proper conducts and financial regulations to kick against criminality during process of payment. We have arranged your payment through our swift card centers, with the latest instruction from United Nations Office And International Monetary Fund Reconciliation Office.
The card center will send you an Atm Master Card which you will use to withdraw your money in any Atm Center, Banks and Union Pay Credit outlets in the world; You are hereby selected as an honor for this payment approval worth Three Million Five Hundred Thousand United States of America Dollars ($3,500,000.00), which you are to acknowledge the receipt of this mail in returning the required below to the Logistic Department by email listed below for immediately release of your above stated compensated funds so that there will be not mistake while delivering your funds to your home.
Office of Reconciliation and Logistics Vaults,United Nations Office Representatives In Nigeria Contact him with the following Information's as confirmed Below;
Officer: Mr. Williams Mcpherson
1. Full Name
2. Phone Number
3. Contact Address
For your information, you have to stop any further communication with any other person or office claiming to be the right office to avoid any hitches in receiving your payment. Because of Impostors, we hereby issued you our code of conduct, which is (Atm-7750) so you have to indicate this code when contacting the Card Center by using it as your subject. Kindly be informed that recipients shall be liable to pay $350 dollars which is obvious cost arising for the delivery of the donation parcel and there will be no hidden fees. This is due to Legal law protecting all donation funds misappropriation.
Yours in Service,
Mr. Ban Ki-Moon
UNITED NATIONS OFFICE