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:
- "application 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. )
- "processing 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. )
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "email@example.com" (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: "United Nations" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2017 00:20:14 +0300
Subject: Re: Compensation To Scam Victim!
From: Mrs. Catherine Pollard
Head Of United Nations Under-Secretary-
General For Internal Oversight Services
To: Unpaid Beneficiary,
This is coming to you in regards to the recent meeting within the United Nations based on the Agreement with the World Bank Assistance Project.
This email come to those who are yet to receive their compensation/inheritance/winnings and who have been scammed in any part of the world, this includes every foreign contractors that may have not received their contract sum, and people who had unfinished transaction or Compensation payments which failed due to Government problems etc. The UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensate you with the sum of $1,500.000.00. (One Million, Five hundred Thousand United State Dollars)
Your name and email was in the list submitted by our Monitoring Team observers and this is why we are contacting you, this has been agreed upon and signed. You are advised to contact Mr. Kingsley Mamabolo, as he is our representative in the USA. Contact him immediately for your Compensation payment of $1,500.000.00. (One Million, Five hundred Thousand United State Dollars) which will be released directly to you through an ATM MasterCard in accordance with legal clearance and procedures.
However, you should send him your Full Name/Telephone Number/Residential Address/Gender and Occupation.
Contact Mr. Kingsley Mamabolo immediately for your compensation payment by replying to this email or emailing the address below:
Name: Mr. Kingsley Mamabolo
Tel: (470) 377 3925
I expect your urgent attention to this email to enable me monitor this payment effectively. Most importantly you shall be requested to pay the sum of $250 only, covering the application fee, processing fee, evaluation fee and mailing cost of your ATM MasterCard with 100% no extra charge or hidden fees involved. Payment will be made to our payment office in the USA only.
Good luck and kind regards,
Making the world a better place!
Mrs. Catherine Pollard
Head Of United Nations Under-Secretary
General For Internal Oversight Services