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:
- 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:
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: adams watson <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2014 08:02:06 -0700
Subject: UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION UNIT, IN AFFILIATION WITH WORLD BANK.
UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION UNIT, IN AFFILIATION WITH WORLD BANK.
This is to official inform you that we have been having a meeting for
the past Six (6) month which ended three days ago with (IMF)
International Monetary Fund President Hon. Mrs. Christine Lagarde and
(ECOWAS)Economic Community of West African States in the meeting we
discussed on issue concerning Scam victim, civil war Victim and
Compensation procedure which we have concluded.
Therefore I am writing to notify you that United Nation have agreed to
compensate you with the sum of Nine Hundred and Eighty Thousand United
States Dollars (USD$980,000.00) this also including international
business that failed due to Government problems etc. We have arranged
your payment of USD$980,000.00 through MasterCard ATM which is the
latest instruction from the World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim.
For the collection of your MasterCard ATM contact barrister james and
forward the following details to him.
1. Full Name:.........
3. Delivery Address:..........
4. Telephone:........../ Occupation...........
5. Your Age....../Sex..........
6: Your Nearest Airport.........
Contact barrister james with below email and phone number and forward
all your details to him.
Email : ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Note: any other communication you made out side barrister james office
is at of your own risk.
Secretary-General (UN) Ban Ki-moon