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:
- "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. )
- "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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "we advice you" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- +447031983655 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: UK National Central <email@example.com>
Reply-To: UK National Central <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 19:52:50 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: UK National Central Bureau of Interpol
UK National Central Bureau of InterpolHeadquarters37 Wood StreetÂ London EC2P 2NQÂ Tel: Phone numbers:+4470319836555
We recently arrested a group of West African / Ghana , Benin and Nigerian/ United Arab Emirates Internet scam Artists in London and we have reasons to believe you have been one of their numerous victims. A through search of the computers arrested with the individuals and their confessions during interrogation has revealed to us that you paid certain sums of money to these fraudsters via Western Union and or bank transfer. These individuals have been wrongfully informing a lot of people via email on the internet that they have huge sums of money to be transferred from a foreign bank account. Also, they have confessed to loan scams,money transfer and the Lottery scam and have been demanding money from innocent people for purported claims of the said money. They operated with a fake Bank and courier and a lot of people have fallen victims to them in the past 3 years.
They were arrested 6 months ago and few was also arrest last week when they attempted to defraud an American citizen of $1.2m USD by the FBI/ British Intelligence Unit / UK National Central Bureau of Interpol and the Interpol working together to break the scam ring.
Our Investigation revealed that you paid out some money to these individuals over a period of time. We are happy to inform you that you can now claim back your money as well as your compensation.
We have already initiated proceedings on your behalf with the West African / Governments and menberstates / United Arab Emirates law enforcement agency to ensure that as a genuine scam victim, you will not only recover your lost money but also you will be compensated for the financial and emotional stress you and your family went through because of the scam.
Our Internal Audit Bureau has estimated that you are eligible to claim a total of $800,000.00 USD from the Fraud Compensation Committee set up by the West African / Nigerian / United Arab Emirates Government to ensure that properly identified scam victims are paid and adequately compensated from the $3bn allocated compensation loan from the World Bank and also your total inheritance will also be paid to you once you reconfirm your details of information of your payment to any of the government ministries /individuals.
This Fund is directly under the watchful eye of both the FBI/Interpol to avoid misappropriation or embezzlement of fund.
The known assets of the Fraudsters has since be confiscated and their Bank Accounts frozen. At the conclusion of our investigations, their assets will be used to pay back for the cost of compensation to their victims to the Fraud Compensation Committee.
Please contact the Officer below to ensure that your details are confirmed as being eligible to receive your compensation as soon as possible.
UK National Central Bureau of InterpolHeadquarters37 Wood StreetÂ London EC2P 2NQÂ Tel: Phone numbers:+4470319836555Email:email@example.com
You are advice to reconfirm your details of information for payment to this office within 72 banking hours,in response to any delay in communication this office will visit you for proper investigation on this payment, every of your details of information is with us and we advice you to reconfirm the followings.
1.Your Full Name:.............. ,2.Your Telephone/Fax and Mobil telephone Number:............,3.Your Age:...............,4.Youâre Sex:............ ,5.Youâre Occupations:.............,6.Your Country and City:................,7 Your bank details ..............................8 Your pages of international passport copies9.company name and addressÂ All compensation request are attended to strictly on a first-come first-serve basis.