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:
- "fund beneficiary" (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: E.FOX U.M.W <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 6 Dec 2015 15:24:15 -0800
Subject: Your Funds Letter From World Bank
UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION
177 K ST NW #400
Dear Email Owner/Fund Beneficiary
IRREVOCABLE PAYMENT ORDER VIA ATM CARD/BANK DRAFT
We have actually been authorized by the newly appointed United Nation Monetary Unit,to investigate the unnecessary delay on your payment,categorized and approved in your favor as contract type/inheritance/unpaid contract fund sand undelivered diplomatic assigned luggage. during the course of our investigation,We discovered with dismay that your payment has been unnecessarily delayed by corrupt officials of the Bank and Agent who are trying to divert your funds/luggage into their private account.
To forestall security and unnecessarily delay again,your funds has been load in ATM VISA CARD and personal identification PIN number assign to it;this will enable only you to have direct control over your funds in the ATM CARD.We will monitor this payment ourselves to avoid the hopeless situation created by the corrupt bank officials.
An irrevocable payment grantee has been used by International Monetary Fund (IMF),Bank of England and Reserve Bank of South Africa on your payment However,we are happy to inform you that base on our recommendation/instruction,your(UN) approved compensation fund of $10,497,000.000 (Ten Million Four Hundred and Ninety Seven Thousand usd)have credited in your favor through ATM MASTER CARD.
You are therefore to contact;
MR Akinwata Thomas
(Compensation Redemption Administrative Agent)
Email;( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Contact Mr. Akinwata Thomas now for the delivery of your approved ATM Master Card valued $10,497.000.000.As soon as you establish a contact with him,an ATM card will be issued to you immediately which you can use to withdraw your funds in any ATM Machine any part of the world.
NOTE;You are advised to furnish Mr. Akinwata Thomas with your correct and valid details in the requested information bellow.We expect your urgent respond to this email enable us monitor this payment effectively.
3.Your Full Name;
5.Your Address Where the ATM Card will be delivered