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:
- 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:
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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: "Mr. Ban Ki-moon" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2016 20:33:48 +0200
Subject: Re: Approved Of Your Fund Through ATM VISA.?
UNITED NATIONS ASSISTED PROGRAMMED
DIRECTORATE OF INTERNATIONAL PAYMENT AND
TRANSFERS. UNITED NATIONS LIAISON OFFICE
LONDON UNITED KINGDOM
WIRE TRANSFER/AUDIT UNIT
Our Ref: UN/CPO/WB/845/2016
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and family? You may not understand why this mail came to you. We have been having a meeting for the past three months which ended two days ago with the UNITED NATIONS BOARD OF TRUSTEES AND AUDITORS with old secretary to the United Nation Mr.kofi Anna.
This email is to all the people that have been scammed in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensate them with the sum of US$500, 000.00 each. This includes every foreign contractors that may have not received their contract sum and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government problems etc. We found your name in our list and that is why we are contacting you, these have been agreed upon and have been signed.
You are advised to contact Mr. Frank Olive of ZENITH BANK NIGERIA PLC, as he is our representative, contact him immediately for your (ATM Card) of USD$500,000,00.This funds are in a ATM VISA CARD. for security purpose OK? so he will send it to you through Courier Services and you can use it in any ATM Visa card in any part of the country.
Contact Mr. Frank Olive immediately for your ATM VISA CARD.
Person to Contact Mr. Frank Olive.
Bank Name Zenith Bank Nigeria Plc
Contact him now on his direct Email: email@example.com
When Contacting Him Send To Him your
(1) Your Valid Direct Tel/ Mobile/Fax Number.
(2) Your Full Name:
(3) Current Resident Address.
(4) Your Private E-mail Address.
(5) Your Occupation:
(6) Your Age and Sex:
(7) Your Nationality:
(8) Your Monthly Income:
(9) Driving license or your passport copy or your working id card:
(10)Your Next of Kin.
Thanks and God bless you and your family. Hoping to hear from you as soon as you receive your ATM VISA CARD.
Making the world a better place,
Mr. Ban Ki-moon.
Secretary to the United Nation.