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:
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms.Heidi Mendoza (Head,United Nations Under-Secretary-" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2016 02:43:39 -0400
Subject: --PAYMENT ADVICE BY UNITED NATION--
Attention: Unpaid Beneficiary
PAYMENT ADVICE BY UNITED NATION
I am sorry for my late response towards your unpaid fund which Ms. Carman L. Lapointe, placed it ONHOLD when she was on sit as former Head Of United Nations Under-Secretary- General For Internal Oversight Services
My name is Ms.Heidi Mendoza, the new appointed Head Of United Nations Under-Secretary- General For Internal Oversight Services. You will get more information about me here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heidi_Mendoza and http://www.un.org/press/en/2015/sga1595.doc.htm
Meanwhile, i wish to inform you were among the scam victims listed to be released their overdue funds by the UNITED NATIONS in conjunction with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after the last encounter we held concerning your funds. As directed by UN secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in collaborations with the US GOVERNMENT, I wish to state categorically that a transfer of $10,500,000.00 drawn on First Citizens Bank will be made to your bank account as almost 99% cost associated with the transfer of your funds has been pre-paid by the U.S. Government.
The only fee you will pay is the cost of processing a "FUND TRANSFER ACCESS CODE" by First Citizens Bank.The "FUND TRANSFER ACCESS CODE" is required in accordance with the U.S. Monetary Transfer or deposit Policy and it is the only fee you will have to pay before your funds can be transferred to your account.
After you must have paid for the above mentioned certificate, First Citizens Bank will process it and send a copy of it to you as well as to FDIC for their perusal. Note once again that your overdue payment worth $10,500,000.00 only will be credited into your account you will furnish with the First Citizens Bank without any delay as approved and instructed by United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and United States Government.
NOTE: I have received numerous emails saying that I went to Nigeria concerning your funds. Please ignore such email because i did not travel to Nigeria for such objective. I am here in the United States of America. Nigeria is No.1 fraudulent country and almost 50% Nigerians are impostors. They value impersonation immensely. Right from this moment, I advised you to stop all further conversation with whomever you might be in contact with, promising to transfer money to you, either through Lottery Winnings, Act as a Next of Kin, investment plan, dating from any social networking websites or any other related issue that involves transferring money as they are all nothing but fake.
Urgently respond with your full name, full address and direct phone number so that I will furnish you with the operation director's contact information. Remember, they will instruct you on how to send the money to them as soon as you contact them.
I can be reached at email@example.com
Head, United Nations Under-Secretary-
General For Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS)