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:
- "clearance fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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. )
- "(efcc)" (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. )
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Carman Lapointe-Young" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2014 18:33:08 +0100
Subject: UNITED NATIONS VICTIMS COMPENSATION PAYMENT NOTICE
UNITED NATIONS VICTIMS COMPENSATION PAYMENT NOTICE
VIA OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL OVERSIGHT SERVICES
Internal Audit, Monitoring, Consulting And Investigations Division.
Attn: Concerned Beneficiary,
With all due respect, my names are Ms. Carman Lapointe- Young from the United Nation International Oversight service New York; it has come to our notice by the US. Ambassador to Nigeria Mr. Terence P. McCauley that your approved fund from Africa, which was intercepted, has not been released to you and we noticed that you made several attempt to transfer your funds but to no avail, I wish to inform you that I appointed to come to Nigerian, West Africa on an ad-hock special duty after series of complains from the FBI and other Security agencies from Asia, Europe, Oceania, Antarctica, South America and the United States of America respectively, against the Federal Government of Nigeria and the British Government for the rate of scam Activities going on in these two nations.
You can go through our website: www.un.org/sg/management/senstaff_details.asp?smgID=147 I have met with the concerned Nigeria authorities over this resolution and as well had meeting with President Nigeria (Dr. Good-luck E. Jonathan) since the funds originated from Nigeria and he assured us of his total support in realization of the transaction hence making sure that all pending and approved fund/accrued interest is credited to the owned beneficiaries.
We are directed to working in collaborations with the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and have resolved to waive all the impediment clearance fees/Charges hence the approved accrued interest of $10.5million as generated by your long contract/inheritance fund which will be credited into your account without any charges apart from a Notarization obligatory fees a compulsory fee to the United Nation Head Office in Abuja Nigeria).
This measure is resolved by the IMF/WORLD BANK hence to ascertain and approve subsequently the transferring of the main principal contract/inheritance amount into your designated bank account after you have received your accrued interest. This payment was approved by both the British government and the UN in your favor either by wire transfer/ATM VISA card Method without any more delay. The only fee you will pay to confirm this fund is, Court Notarization obligatory fees to the United Nation Head Office here in Abuja Nigeria and will not be deducted from the approved accrued interest hence to avoid over deduction of funds from the calculated interest.
Sincerely, you are hereby strongly advised to adhere to this directives to enable you receive your accrued interest approved fund/pending contract and inheritance fund because I have just discovered that some top Nigerian Government officials and British Government Officials are interested in your fund and they are working in collaboration with some top CBN bank officials to frustrate you and thereafter divert your fund into their personal account. However on the acceptance of this email, I will advise you to re-confirm your present phone numbers and contract data(s) to enable me cross-check with what we have here in our database to make a free huge free transaction.
Your Full Name=========
Your Private Phone Number:====================
Copy of your ID card or Passport:==============================
We have limited time to stay in Nigeria on this matter so I would like you to respond urgently to this message so that we can advise you on the procedures ahead as soon as you can take care of the Court Notarization obligatory fee as stated above.
Note: All responses should be directed to this Email account: ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) and you are advised not to respond to this official mail (IF ) you are not willing and interested to comply accordingly as stated above!
Ms. Carman Lapointe-Young.
United Nations Under-Secretary-
General for Internal Oversight.
Direct Phone: +234-807-925-0800