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:
- 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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Valerie Amos (UNITED NATION)" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2015 00:55:20 +0530
Subject: YOUR COMPENSATION PAYMENT OF US$500.000.00. IS READY
United Nations Compensation Unit, In Affiliation with World Bank Our Ref: U.N/WBO/042UK/2015.
RE: YOUR COMPENSATION PAYMENT AWARD OF US$500.000.00 IS READY?
You may not understand why this mail came to you. We have been having a meeting for quit sometime now and we just came to a logical conclusion few days ago in affiliation with the World Bank president. This email is to few well listed people that have been scammed in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS in Affiliation with WORLD BANK have agreed to compensate them with the sum of USD $500,000.00 Dollars each.
These 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 email 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 Mr.Chris Lucas of our paying center in Africa, as he is our representative in Nigeria, contact him immediately for your ATM Debit Card of USD$500,000.00 Dollars.This fund is in form of a ATM Debit Card 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 ATM Debit Card to you. Contact Mr.Chris Lucas of ZENITH PAYMENT CENTER with your payment code: 09051982 immediately for your ATM Debit Card at the given address below:
Person to contact: Mr.Chris Lucas
I apologize on behalf of the United Nation 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 ATM Debit Card. 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:
10.Scanned copy of your identification:
Congratulations, and I look forward to hear from you as soon as you confirm your payment making the world a better place.
Ms. Valerie Amos.
United Nations Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs,Emergency Relief
NOTICE: This E-mail (including attachments) is covered by the
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