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:
- 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 state 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cheque " (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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "UNITED NATIONS" <firstname.lastname@example.org >
Date: Tue, 07 Jun 2016 03:47:08 +0000
Subject: UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION UNIT
NOTE: If you received this message in your SPAM/BULK folder, that is bec=
ause of the restrictions implemented by your Internet Service Provider, we =
(UN) urge you to treat it genuinely. UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION IN =
CONJUNCTION WITH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA IN AFFILIATION WITH WORLD B=
ANK. ATTN: Beneficiary Hope all is well with you and Your fam=
ily?, you may not understand why this mail came to you which is in regards =
to the recent meeting between the United Nations and the Present United Sta=
tes Government to restore the dignity and Economy of the Nations,Based on t=
he Agreement with the World Bank Assistance to help make the world a better=
place for all with the sole aim of abolishing poverty.We have been having =
a meeting for the passed 7 months which ended 2 days ago. This email=
come to those who are yet to receive their compensation/inheritance/winnin=
gs and who have been scammed in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS h=
ave agreed to compensate them with the sum of US$8,500,000.00 ( Eight Milli=
on Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars). This includes every foreign=
contractors that may have not received their contract sum, and people that=
have had an unfinished transaction or Compensation payments that failed du=
e to Government problems etc. Your name and email was in the list submitted=
by our Monitoring Team observers and this is why we are contacting you, th=
is have been agreed upon and have been signed, so you are advised to contac=
t ( Pastor Henry Green) a volunteer of the United Nations Compensation Comm=
ission as he is our representative in nigeria. Contact him immediate=
ly for your CHEQUE worth the total sum of US$8,500,000.00 ( Eight Million F=
ive Hundred United State Dollars) This funds are in DRAFT Form for security=
purpose ok? So he will send it to you via DHL courier company and you can =
clear the CHEQUE in any bank of your choice in your country, so send him th=
e below details ASAP. Full Names: Telephone Number/Mobile Number: =
Your Residential Address: Gender: Occupation: Contact ( Pastor Hen=
ry Green) immediately for your compensation payment: Email: united_n=
email@example.com Telephone Number: +234 8068882762 Give him your Fi=
le Reference (RE-1077-V) and you are free to contact him via telephone numb=
er, it will be better to call him and once you do that he will ask you of =
your File Reference number which is (RE-1077-V), this file reference numbe=
r is very important and gives him access to get through to your file and e=
mail you back quickly once he confirms your email and your delivery details=
. Good luck and kind regards,making the world a better place. =
Mr Ban Ki-Moon (UNITED NATIONS GENERAL SECRETARY). http://www.un.or=
g/sg/ This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus=
protection is active. http://www.avast.com =20