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)
- "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. )
- 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 Nations" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 23:50:40 +0100
Subject: **** SPAM **** SCAMMED VICTIMS COMPENSATION
UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION UNIT IN AFFILIATION WITH ZENITH BANK.Send a copy of your response to official email: email@example.com
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 Present 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, We send you this mail.
We have been having series of meetings for the passed 7 months which ended few days ago with the secretary to the UNITED NATIONS
This email is to all the people that hasve been scammed in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensate them with the sum of $500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Dollars Only)
This includes every foriegn 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.
Your name and email was in the list submitted by our Monitoring Team of Economic and Financial Crime Commission and United Kingdom Financial Commission observers and this is why we are contacting you, this has been agreed upon and has been signed.
You are advised to contact Pamela Yough of Zenith bank, Nigeria
as she is our representative in Nigeria, contact Her immediately for your Cheque/ International Bank Draft of $500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Dollars Only) Note, This fund is in a Bank Draft for security purpose.She will send it to you and you can clear it in any bank of your choice.
Therefore, you should send her your full Name and telephone number and
your correct mailing address, where you want her to send the Draft to.
Person to Contact Pamela Yough
Phone Number +234-7038875513
Goodluck and kind regards,
Making the world a better place