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:
- 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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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.
- 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: "Hon (Mr) K Andem" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Hon (Mr) K Andem" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2014 07:17:20 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: IRREVOCABLE PAYMENT GUARANTEE VIA ATM CARD
Dear fund beneficiary,
IRREVOCABLE PAYMENT GUARANTEE VIA ATM CARD
Based on series of petitions we received from various organizations such as Cooperate Bodies and Non Governmental Organization (NGO) on the Inability of some Government officials, Commercial banks and World Lottery Organization to settle their clients Contract debt, Inheritance and Winning Prizes. We have been authorized by the Debt Reconciliation Unit of this institution, to investigate the unnecessary delay on payment approved in your favor. During the course of our investigation, we had discovered with dismay that your payment has been unnecessarily delayed by corrupt officials of the Bank who are trying to divert your funds into their personal accounts.
After an extensive close door meeting yesterday, it was resolved and agreed upon that our Senior UN Attorney Barr. Mike Williams, Esq.to work extensively to ensure that all contract payment, Inheritance and Lottery Winning Prizes be settled without any hassle. For security reasons, your funds will be packaged in form of your personal Identification number (PIN) ATM CARD and this will enable only you to have direct control over your funds. We will monitor this payment by ourselves to avoid the hopeless situation created by previous bank officials.
An irrevocable payment guarantee has been issued by the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on your Payment. However, we are happy to inform you that based on our recommendation/Instructions; your complete Inheritance funds have been credited in your favor through ATM Visa Card.
So you are therefore advice to contact:
Barr. Mike Williams, Esq. UN Representative in West AfricaEmail: email@example.comTel: +229 61 775 394 / +229 99 797 362
You are requested to contact him now for the delivery of your ATM Card. As soon as you establish a contact with him, an ATM card will be issued to you immediately which you can use from any Bank ATM Machine in the world. So if you like to receive your funds through this means, you are advised to contact (Barrister Mike Williams, Esq ) with the following information as stated below:
1. Your Full Name:2. Address:3. Age:4. Occupation:5. Telephone Number:
NOTE: You are advised to furnish him with your correct and valid details. also be informed that the amount to be paid to you is sum of $10,500.000.00 (Ten million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only)
Thanks as we are expecting your urgent response to unable us monitor the payment effectively.
Congratulations.Ref No:UNW:2011551661/23.Hon. (Mr) K Andem