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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "i will advice you " (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Carman Lapointe" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2016 08:41:26 +0100
It is my pleasure to introduce myself, My name is Ms. Carman L. Lapointe. I am the Head Of United Nations Under-Secretary- General For Internal Oversight Services assigned by the United Nations to settle Nigeria debt to her beneficiaries.For more information about me kindly click on the below link or copy and paste on your web browser.
As directed by UN secretary General, we are working in collaborations with the Nigerian Government agencies to affect your overdue payment worth USD10.5M into your account or issue you with ATM Card as you may wish without any further delay as approved and instructed by the UNITED NATIONS.
In order to get paid instantly and without any hitch there is need for you to contact me urgently so that I will advice you what must be done to get your entitlement paid to you. Once this is done, we shall have Bank of America to affect your overdue payment worth USD10.5M only into your account as the official bankers of the United Nations. I am here now and I can assure you that your problems are over. I am well determined to assist you because I am a Woman and a Mother so I understand your pain.
Note that I have a very limited time to stay here in Nigeria, so I would want you to urgently respond to this message so that we can proceed with your payment while I advise you on what to do in order to receive your long awaiting entitlement. Kindly get back to me with your full name, address and direct phone number immediately.
Ms. Carman L. Lapointe
Head of United Nations Under-Secretary-
General for Internal Oversight Services