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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "economic and financial crime commission" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "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.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ban Ki-Moon" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2014 22:07:28 -0500
Subject: REF/PAYMENTS CODE: 03354.
UN COMPENSATIONS PAYMENTS UNIT.
REF/PAYMENTS CODE: 03354.
AMOUNT ; $550,000.00 USD.
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and family? You may not
understand why this mail came to you.
In regards to the recent meeting between the United Nations and the United
States Government to restore the dignity and Economy of the Nations and
also based on the agreement with the World Bank Assistance to help and
make the world a better place for all with the sole aim of abolishing
poverty i send you this mail.
We have been having series of meetings for the passed three months which
ended 18 June 2014. This email is to all the people that have lost their
properties in the earthquakes and tsunami and people that have been
scammed in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS have agreed to
compensate them with the sum of US$ 550,000.00 (Five Hundred and Fifty
Thousand United States Dollars). Your name and email was in the list
submitted by our Monitoring Tea m of Economic and Financial Crime
Commission observers and this is why we are contacting you, this have been
agreed upon and have been signed.
You are advised to contact Mr. Nnamdi J. Okonkwo of FIDELITY BANK, as he
is our representative, contact him immediately for your
Check/International Bank Draft of USD$ 550,000.00 (Five Hundred and Fifty
Thousand United States Dollars) This funds are in a Bank Draft for
security purpose 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 with
your correct mailing address, where you want him to send the Draft to you.
Contact Mr. Nnamdi J. Okonkwo immediately for your Check:
Goodluck and kind regards,
Mr. Ban Ki-Moon
Secretary (UNITED NATIONS).
UN making the world a better place