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.
- 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: "From Mrs. Carman Lapointe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2015 05:33:41 -0700
Subject: Get back to me for more details
UNITED NATIONS OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL OVERSIGHT SERVICES
Internal Audit, Monitoring, Consulting and Investigations Division
From: Mrs. Carman Lapointe
Good day to you, my name is Mrs. Carman Lapointe Young the United Nations Under-Secretary I was sent to Nigeria last week by the United Nation and is to officially informed you that your name is among the scam victims that will be compensated with the total sum of $5.5Million approved by United Nations and other stake holders this is the reason why the united nation sent me to Nigeria to make sure people like you receive there fund from here in Nigeria without any hitch, I have a mandate with UN and the stake holders who approved your fund to make sure you receive your approve compensation fund before I go back to NEW YORK to summit my report, and I am contacting you now because your fund is ready for you to make the claim because all approval documentations that will back up your fund transfer are here with me
Note for easy communication contact me via this email (email@example.com) or phone +234-7061268585, Thanks for your understanding, I wait to hear from you soon as you receive this email from me so that I will give you more details on what to do and how to receive your fund
Mrs. Carman Lapointe
United Nations Under-Secretary-
General for Internal Oversight