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:
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: TRUTH IS THE ONLY ANSWER <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2017 14:40:41 +0100
Subject: TRUTH IS THE ONLY ANSWER
UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION COMMISSION (U.N.C.C)
AUDIT UNIT, UNITED NATIONS (WORLD BANK ASSISTED PROGRAMMED)
DIRECTORATE OF INTERNATIONAL PAYMENT AND TRANSFERS. ADDRESS;870
UNITED NATIONS PLAZA 20-NEW YORK NY 10017
OUR REF: AB/NF/UN/XX024/2017
TRUTH IS THE ONLY ANSWER
This is to congratulate you for scaling through the hurdles of
screening by the Board of Directors of UN Compensation payment task
force. Your payment file was approved and the instruction was given to
us to release your payment Worth US$5.700(Five Million Seven
Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only)and at any of your
Options; The options are as follows:
* Bank To Bank Transfer
* Diplomatic Cash payment
* ATM Card.
* Bank Draft(ICED)
We look forward for your immediate response to enable us start the
necessary arrangement for the release of the fund to you.
Director of Payment UN African Liaison Office