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:
- "western union" (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. )
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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 (Yahoo, France; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: mark ben <email@example.com>
Reply-To: mark ben <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2014 11:23:19 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Kindly Contact United Nations
Â Kindly Contact United Nations
We have concluded to effect your payment of $1, 500.000.00, through western union, but the maximum amount you will be receiving each day starting from tomorrow is $5000.00 daily until the funds is completely transferred. We are writing to inform you that your fund worthy of One Million five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($1, 500.000.00) has been handed over to the United Nations to transfer the fund through western union according to the instruction of the federal ministry of finance.
Base the outcome of the last meeting held 30th of September, 2014. The Federal Ministry of Finance has appointed United Nations to carry out of transfer of outstanding fund to the beneficiaries who have not received their outstanding payment due to one reason or the other According to Mr. President his excellence Dr.Yayi Aboni who made this known to the every one that was present in that meeting.
>From today onward you are advised to stop further contact with other bank who claimed to have your fund in their bank because your fund will be transfer to you $5000.00 daily through the western union money transfer under the United Nations. Note: you are not require to send any money once you paid the transfer charge fee of your payment file, instruction from federal ministry of finance that once the transfer charge fee have been confirmed.
Kindly Contact United Nations:
Telphone number: +229 98 762 123
Also reconfirm your information to them below
YOUR ADDRESS- ----------
With my best regards,
Dr. mark ben