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:
- ",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:
From: BAN KI-MOON <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2016 13:29:41 +0200
Subject: UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION UNIT
UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION UNIT, IN AFFILIATION WITH WORLD BANK.
HOW ARE YOU TODAY? HOPE ALL IS WELL WITH YOU AND FAMILY? YOU MAY NOT UNDERSTAND WHY THIS MAIL CAME TO YOU.
WE HAVE BEEN HAVING A MEETING FOR THE PAST 2 MONTHS WHICH ENDED SOME DAYS AGO WITH THE SECRETARY TO THE UNITED NATIONS. THIS EMAIL IS TO ALL THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN SCAMMED IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD, THE UNITED NATIONS HAVE AGREED TO COMPENSATE THEM WITH THE SUM OF US$ 2,000,000.00
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 NAME IN OUR LIST AND THAT IS WHY WE ARE CONTACTING YOU,THIS HAS BEEN AGREED UPON AND HAS BEEN SIGNED.
YOU ARE ADVISED TO CONTACT REV.ROBERT FRANCES, OF OUR PAYING CENTER IN SOUTH AFRICA, AS HE IS OUR REPRESENTATIVE IN THERE, CONTACT REV.
THEREFORE, YOU SHOULD SEND HIM YOUR INFORMATION
DATE OF BIRTH:.......................
PERSON TO CONTACT:REV.ROBERT FRANCES
THANKS AND GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. HOPING TO HEAR FROM YOU AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVED YOUR MONEY. MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE.
SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
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