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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found 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.Theresa Lewis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2016 20:36:23 +0100
Subject: FROM MRS.THERESA LEWIS
INTERNATIONAL FUNDS AUDIT UNIT
UNITED NATIONS LIAISON OFFICE NEW-YORK, USA
870 UNITED NATIONS PLAZA 20-A NEW YORK NY 10017
OUR REF: US/NF/UN/XX2016
FUND US1.5MILLION APPROVED BY UNITED NATIONS
We write to inform you that Series of meetings have been held over the
past 2weeks with the Secretary General of the United Nations
Organization, International Community Board and U.S.Department of
State and Africa Union Organization this ended last week. During the
meeting, this organization discovered that you have not received your
funds due to past corrupt Governmental Officials who almost held the
fund to themselves for their selfish reason and some individuals who
have taken advantage of your fund all in an attempt to swindle your
fund which has led to so many losses from your end and unnecessary
delay in the receipt of your fund.
The International Community Board Committee enhanced by the United
Nations/ U.S.Department of State and Africa Union Organization have
successfully passed a payment mandate release order to the Bank to
clear all over due Contract funds, Lottery winnings and Inheritance
funds owed to you and other individuals and organizations who have
been found not to have receive their funds. Note that your payment
file submitted to the Bank in question is 1.5Million U.S Dollars.
In order to know you are ready to receive your approved fund, you are
strictly advice to furnish us with the below information for us to
cross check in our payment file if is correct, and after all
verifications, we will then direct you on how to contact the Bank for
your fund payment to you.
1. Your Full Name:
3. Home/Cell Phone:
4. Age and Marital Status:
6. Any Identification like Int'l Passport/Driver License:
We expecting your urgent response to this email to enable us monitor
this payment effectively.
Assistance Secretary United Nation