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:
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Clara Owu" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2015 13:05:36 +0100
Subject: Re: For Your Info
Its now crystal clear to you in the time past that you have been dealing with fraudsters because our investigation report have shown
that you have an outstanding payment
Nevertheless the did have been done and the only way to remedy the situation is to proceed to pay you an approved compensation fund of
$6.5million only as been approved for scam victims by the United Nations Debts Reconciliation Committee United Kingdom,
Thus the payment will come via ATM VISA CARD and as our paying bank is duly inter switched you will be permitted to make a maximum withdrawal
of $5000 on daily basis in any ATM VISA CENTER that is nearest to you any where in the world then the original copy of your ATM VISA CARD
shall be delivered by DHL COURIER service which shipment/insurance coverage cost is free of charge
Please to avoid wrong delivery of your ATM VISA CARD you are kindly expected to reply immediately and re-confirm, Your preferred home or
office delivery address
Mrs Clara Owu
United Nations Debts Reconciliation Committee United Kingdom