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:
- "million united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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:
Date: Wed, 7 Oct 2015 21:00:41 -0400
Subject: UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION SCHEME
New York, NY 10017, United States
The UNITED NATIONS has agreed to Compensate 50 people each which you
happen to be among with the sum of US$1,000,000.00 (One Million United
States Dollars). This includes people that have had an unfinished
transaction or International businesses that failed due to Government
problems or irregularities.
Your name was found in our list after the last United Nation Conference
held at the United Nation House New York USA and that is why we are
contacting you over it, it has been agreed upon and have been signed by
the newly established Executive Board of the newest entity in the United
Nations family the United Nations Entity for Gender equality and the
Empowerment of women (UN Women), under the istinguished leadership and
Executive Direction of the newest Under-Secretary-General Madame Michelle
Bachelet, former President of Chile. Ms Bachelet brings to the job a
formidable asset, an immeasurable passion, profound and varied experience
as well as influence, respect and admiration around the world.
My humble self Mr Ted Moore United Nations under secretary general for
internal payment/transfer has been mandated to take charge of all the 50
people who where selected for payment, as the UNITED NATIONS
representative in respect of this 2015 Compensation Scheme.
It will be important to accelerate efforts to complete the human resource
processes to ensure that the requisite staff are in place and ready to
take on the important tasks ahead.
DIRECT TELPEHONE NUMBER
Forward the above details to this email: firstname.lastname@example.org to enable
us process your file and forward to the paying Bank for payment.
Mr. Ted Moore
Copyright 2015 Permanent Mission of USA to the UN
UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION SCHEME