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:
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "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)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Rose Hills" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2016 14:33:47 -0700
Subject: Your Fund Is Ready Now!!
DEBT SETTLEMENT PANEL.
UK REGIONAL OFFICE, LONDON.
REF NO: AUTH PMT-UN/IOD/2016/Q1
RE: VERIFICATION AND APPROVAL OF YOUR PAYMENT FILE.
In accordance with the external condemnation/petitions from foreign creditors over non-payment of their overdue fund by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Federal ministry of finance and Financial companies. The Federal Government of Nigeria in conjunction with United Nations Organization has constituted an Anti-corruption Committee to create Global Awareness to all Foreign Contractors and fund beneficiary's, to resolve and immediately release all outstanding debt through Commonwealth Bank UK.
>From the records of outstanding funds due for immediate payment, your name/particulars were discovered as next on the approved list.
Fund has been approved on your behalf for this first quota of 2016 fiscal year. For your information, we have assigned Commonwealth Bank UK to handle all related transactions to avoid further complain from beneficiaries about incessant taxes, fees etc
My office has received the following information from United Nations Secretary General Cabinet today as regards to your fund. File No: 790042, United Kingdom Inspection Cooperation (UKIC) Ref: No#: GNP/3480/02/00, Indemnity clearance No#: UNB/UKI/V1233/PPC-X29/98, Special Duties Office Approved No#:LM/05/371NGF/010, United Kingdom National Procurement Corporation (UNNPC) Approve No#: UNNPC/FMFNG002/CBL/DF101, Payment Ref No#: 111162AP.
Kindly re-confirm the following information immediately to facilitate the issuance of Final fund release order document on your behalf which will be submitted to Commonwealth Bank UK for an immediate release of your funds.
1) Your full name:.........................
2) Contact address:........................
4) Phone number:...........................
As soon as this information is received, your payment will be made to your nominated bank account directly from Commonwealth Bank UK.
Mrs. Rose Hills
Foreign Debt Settlement