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:
- "million 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)
- "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: Ban Ki-Moon <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Ban Ki-Moon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2014 13:54:40 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS BENEFICIARY
The United Nations Headquarters, Benin Republic
United Nations Compensation Unit,
In Affiliation with World Bank
Our Ref: U.N/WBO/042UK/2014.
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and family? You may not understand why this mail came to you. We have been
having a meeting for the past 7 months which just ended few days ago with the secretary to the UNITED NATIONS. This email
is to all the people that have been scammed in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS in Affiliation withÂ WORLD BANK
have agreed to compensate them with the sum of USD$8.5 Million Dollars.
This includes every foreign 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. We found your name in the
list of those who are to benefit from these compensation exercise and that is why we are contacting you, this have been
agreed upon and have been signed. You are advised to contact Rev John Donald of our paying center in Africa, as he is our
representative in Nigeria, contact him immediately forÂ your Check/ International Bank Draft of USD$8.5 Million Dollars.
This fund is in form of a Bank Draft for security purpose ok? 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 your correct mailing address where you
want him to send the Draft to you. Contact Rev John Donald PAYMENT CENTER with your payment Code:ST/DPI/829 immediately
for your Check at the given address below:
Chief Protocol Officer,Dispatch Unit: James B knight
I apologize on behalf of my organization for any delay you might have encountered in receiving your fund in the past.
Thanks and God bless you and your family. Hoping to hear from you as soon as you cash your Bank Draft. Making the world a
better place. You are required to contact the above person and furnish him with the following of your information that
will be required to avoid any mistakes:-
1. Your Full name:
2. Your Country:
3. Contact Address:
4. Telephone Number:
5. Fax Number:
6. Marital Status:
We expect your urgent attention to this email to enable us monitor this payment effectively. Most importantly
Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon