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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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: "Moon" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2016 17:24:06 -0400
Subject: URGENT RESPONDS NEEDED.
761 UNITED NATIONS (U.N) PLAZA, NEW YORK (N.Y)04221 U.S.A
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +1-716-240-7115
ATTENTION: BENEFICIARY: ,
We write to inform you that have been authorized by the international community in conjunction with the World bank to investigate the
unnecessary delay of your Outstanding Contract/Inheritance Payment. We have also been empowered to recommend and approve your claims for
payment if certified as genuine. During the course of our investigation, we discovered with dismay that your payment has been
unnecessarily delayed by some corrupt officials of the Bank who are Trying to divert the beneficiaries' Fund into their private accounts.
To forestall this, security for your funds has been organized and for the safety of your funds we have been specifically advised to release
this payment to you either by a Telegraphic Transfer into your Designated Account, by a Certified Bank Draft or through special Cash
Delivery/ATM CARD/ONLINE TRANSFER. We have also agreed with the Presidency that we will make this payment via the United Nations
Accredited Bank to avoid the hopeless situation created by the Officials of the Previous Bank.
We are happy to inform you that based on our recommendation your outstanding Contract/Inheritance Fund of (US$10.5M) TEN MILLION,FIVE
HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY, has been credited in your favor in our Accredited Bank's Escrow Account.
after all verification, i will then direct you on how you can Contact the below person for your fund payment to you. we shall later ask
advised you to contact Mrs.Patience Akyianu,OF BARCLAYS BANK accra Ghana where your Fund US$10.5Million is currently deposited to indicate
your preferred mode of payment.
You are advised to furnish me with this below information:
1.Your Full Name
4.Age and Marital Status
6.COPY OF YOUR IDENTITY VIA E-MAIL ATTACHNMENT
We expect your urgent response to this email: ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
enable us monitor this payment effectively.
We assured you that, everything regarding your Fund US$10.5MMillion is
real and legal and we promise to give you good service.
URGENT RESPONDS NEEDED.
WITH THE CODE: LORD IS GOOD
MR. BAN KI-MOON,
UNITED NATION (U.N) OFFICE NEW YORK CITY U.S.A