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 letter" (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. )
- "security keeping 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. )
- "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 of america" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: "DMO Refunding office" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 14 Jan 2017 07:42:56 -0400
Subject: Re: COMPENSATION SETTLEMENT
INTERNATIONAL RECONCILIATION AND LOGISTICS VAULT
WORLD BANK ASSISTED PROGRAMME
UNITED NATIONS OFFICE (UN)
COMPENSATION SETTLEMENT OF ESCROW ACCOUNTS.
It is a pleasure to write you that we have reconciled with our logistic department on the reimbursement of some fund spent by you during the cause of your inadequate dealings with some imposters who claim to be staff in banks and other regional payment centers. Our reconciliation teams with the prospectus instrument of the United Nations after freezing suspected imposters account. This support was fully effective with the help of World Bank after a summit meeting in London, on the financial analysis and financial stability issues fluctuating the economy with the international global standard.
After gathering of this sum, our logistic department gave us a list of beneficiaries to be paid a sum of $2.500,000.00 United States Dollars who fell victims to these imposters due to unawareness. And mode of payment was as well specified for proper conducts and financial regulations to kick against criminality during process of payment. We have arranged your payment through our swift card centers, with the latest instruction from United Nations Office And International Monetary Fund Reconciliation Office.
The card center will send you an Atm Master Card which you will use to withdraw your money in any Atm Center, Banks and Union Pay Credit outlets in the world; You are hereby selected as an honor for this payment approval worth $2.500,000.00 United States Dollars, which you are to acknowledge the receipt of this mail in returning the required below to the Logistic Department by email listed below for immediately release of your above stated compensated funds so that there will be not mistake while delivering your funds to your home.
Note that United Nations Board of Director have sign your ATM CARD PARCEL in the favor of your name and hand it over to Mrs. Mildred Adams Chief Protocol Officer, Dispatch Unit to arrange the delivery process, you have to contact Mrs. Mildred Adams in charge of your ATM CARD PARCEL, as she is our UNITED NATIONS representative in USA region, contact her immediately for your fund $2.5 MILLION USD,
Office of Reconciliation and Logistics Vaults,
United Nations Office Representatives In New York, USA
Contact Information Officer: Mrs. Mildred Adams
Email: ( MildredAdamsCarroll@accountant.com)
Direct Telephone line: (+1) 940 238 7669
1. Full Name
2. Phone Number
3. Contact Address
For your information, you have to stop any further communication with any other person or office claiming to be the right office to avoid any hitches in receiving your payment. Because of Impostors, we hereby issued you our code of conduct, which is (Atm-7750) so you have to indicate this code when contacting the Card Center by using it as your subject.
Mrs. Mildred Adams will send you her IDENTITY CARD and the CLEARANCE LETTER so you can know whom you are directly dealing with. Mrs. Mildred Adams will be expecting your email and urgent attention to this email to enable us monitor this payment effectively. Most importantly you shall be requested to pay the sum of $220 (Only) to Mrs. Mildred Adams as the Security Keeping Fee of your PARCEL to be delivered to your door step. Please note that the delivery fee have been sorted out by the UN,Please contact Mrs. Mildred Adams now.
Yours in Service,
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
UNITED STATE OF AMERICA