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:
- 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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Ban Ki-Moon <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 27 Jun 2015 13:27:59 +0200
Subject: Contact: Mr.John Steve
The United Nations
Headquarters, New York
United Nations Compensation Unit, In Affiliation with World Bank.
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 $1,500,000.00
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 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.John Steve of our paying center in
Africa, as he is our representative in Africa . Contact him
immediately for your ATM Card of USD$1,500,000.00 Dollars. This fund
is in form of ATM 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 your Card to you. Contact
Mr.John Steve of ATM PAYMENT CENTER with your payment code: Q0097-T
immediately for your ATM Card at the given address below:
Person to Contact: Mr.John Steve
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 CARD. Make 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
1. Your Full name:
2. Your Country:
3. Contact Address:
4. Telephone Number:
5. Marital Status:
And be official informed that you are advice to present this code
Q0097-T to Mr.John Steve for security purpose and do not share it with
Congratulations, and I look forward to hear from you as soon as you
confirm your payment making the world a better place.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon