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:
- "clearance fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- 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: "Carmen Lapointe L--" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2016 02:20:20 -0800
Subject: Re: Your 2016 4th Quarter Unpaid Beneficiarys' Payment!!!
From: Ms. Carman L. Lapointe
Head of United Nations Under-Secretary-General For Internal Oversight Services.
To: Unpaid Beneficiary,
This is to inform you that I arrived Nigeria yesterday from Canada, after series of complaint from the FBI and other security agencies and commissions in Asia, Europe, South America and the United States of America respectively, cited against some West African countries, the Federal Government of Nigeria and the British Government for the high volume of fraudulent activities on-going in these countries.
For more information about me kindly click on the link below or copy and paste the web address on your web browser.
At this moment, as directed by UN secretary General Ban Ki-Moon - we are working in collaborations with the Nigerian Financial Crime Commission and we have decided to waive away all your clearance fees/charges and authorized the Government of Nigeria to effect your overdue payment worth $10.5M only into your account without any delay as approved and instructed by the Canadian government wholly supported by the UNITED NATIONS.
As a listed beneficiary on file, the only fee you will pay to receive your fund is the Notarization Fee. Upon your request, I will tell you the amount and also send you the payment information you will use in sending the Notarization Fee.
Sincerely, you are a lucky person because I have just discovered that some top Nigerian and Canadian Government Officials are interested in your fund and they are working in collaboration with One Mr. Richard Graves from USA to frustrate you and thereafter divert your fund into their personal account.
Note that I have a very limited time to stay here in Nigeria, so I would like you to urgently respond to this message with your full name, current residence address, direct phone number so that I can advise you on how best to confirm your fund into your account within the next 72 hours.
Once again, the only fee you will pay to receive your fund is the Notarization Fee.
You can reach me on:
Email Address: CARMENLAPOINTELJ@MYNET.COM
Ms. Carmen L. Lapointe
Head Of United Nations Under-Secretary General For Internal Oversight Services
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