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:
- 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:
- ",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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "General Ban Ki-Moon" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2017 22:08:41 -0800
Subject: SCAM VICTIMS COMPENSATION
UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION UNIT,
IN AFFILIATION WITH WORLD BANK
Special Envoy to Secretary-General ROY SMITH
This is to bring to your notice that we are delegated from the UNITED NATIONS in Central Bank to pay 50 victims from your country who has being Victims of Internet scam .The United Nations has decided to pay you $3,500,000 USD (Three Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) each. You are listed and approved for this payment as one of the scammed victims to be paid this amount, get back to this office as soon as possible for the immediate payment of your $3,500,000 USD compensation funds. We have been having a meeting for the past Seven months which ended Three days ago with the former secretary to the UNITED NATIONS in the person of Mr.Kofi Annan.
This email is to all the people that have been scammed or extorted money from because of your contract payment execution in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensate them with the sum of US$3.5.MILLION 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 or irregularities etc.
We found your email in our list and that is why we are contacting you, this has been agreed upon and has been signed by the United Nations Board of Directors and Trustees.
You have to contact Pastor WILLIAMS T Mark, our payment agent in West Africa, as he is our UNITED NATIONS representative in West Africa, contact him immediately for your ATM CARD US$3.5.MILLION This funds are in a Bank Draft for security purpose. He will send it to you and you can clear it in any bank of your choice.
Your file Reference below (RE-1077_V)
Contact Pastor THOMAS WILLIAMS(email@example.com) immediately for your Cashier Cheque.
Thanks and God bless you and your family. Hoping to hear from you as soon as you cash your Bank Draft. Making the world a better place for the sake of humanity. Give him your File Reference (RE-1077-V) and you are free to contact him via telephone number which he will provide to you upon the receipt of your email.
General Ban Ki-Moon
Secretary United Nations
General Roy Smith.
(Financial Officer)United Nations...