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:
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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: "MS. CHRISTINE EVANS-KLOCK" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2017 16:49:09 +0700 (WIT)
Subject: HEAD OF HUMAN RIGHTS
EXECUTIVE ORDER TO CONTRACT FUND BENEFICIARY SEQUEL TO YOUR CONTRACT ISSUE
THAT WAS RAISED RECENTLY BY THE UNITED NATION FINANCIAL INVESTIGATION UNIT
AKAI WITH THE REPUBLIC GOVERNMENT OF GHANA, ALL YOUR DETAILS/INFORMATION
HAS BEEN NOTED.
WE HAVE FORWARDED ALL DOCUMENTS OF YOUR TRANSACTION TO THE OFFICE OF THE
DIRECTOR BILL AND EXCHANGE DEPARTMENT AND OFFICE OF THE ACCOUNTANT GENERAL
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR FUND.
IN THIS NOTE, YOU ARE HEREBY ADVISED TO CONTACT MR. AMAECHI FESTUS ON
DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBER: +234 8109689576, and or Email: email@example.com
FOR FURTHER DIRECTIVES AS HE HAS BEEN SADDLED WITH THE RESPONSIBILITIES TO
SUBSTANTIATE THE RELEASE OF YOUR PAYMENT. ALSO, NOTE THAT THE OFFICE OF
PRESIDENCY HAS THE RIGHT TO REVOKE YOUR ALLOCATION IF YOU FAIL TO COMPLY
WITH THIS DIRECTIVE, FORWARD YOUR COMPLETE CONTRACT DETAILS FOR
CONFIRMATION/ IDENTIFICATION TO HIM.
ANTICIPATION WILL HELP YOU SECURE YOUR CONTRACT PAYMENT WITHOUT DELAYS.
YOUR PAYMENT WILL BE WIRED TO YOU ONLY WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED BY
OFFICE OF PRESIDENCY, WHICH SHOWS THAT THE PRESIDENCY HAS TESTIFIED ON
YOUR BEHALF, AND THEN YOUR PAYMENT WILL BE WIRED TO YOU WITHIN 72 HOURS
BANK WORKING HOURS.
WE HAVE SENT A TELEX SIGNAL TO THE (C.A) TO EFFECT THE PAYMENT OF YOUR
CONTRACT SUM AS SOON AS YOU CONTACT THE DIRECTOR. YOU ARE HOWEVER,
STRONGLY ADVISED FOR THE INTEREST OF YOUR PERSON/FIRM TO COMMUNICATE ONLY
WITH MR. AMAECHI FESTUS FOR THE IMMEDIATE PAYMENT OF YOUR CONTRACT SUM.
WE HAVE INSTRUCTED HIM TO TREAT YOUR PAYMENT FILE AS TOP MOST URGENT; THEY
ARE ON STANDBY TO EFFECT YOUR PAYMENT TO YOUR NOMINATED BANK ACCOUNT AS
SOON AS YOU GET IN TOUCH WITH THEM. ON BEHALF OF THE UNITED NATIONS IN
CONJUNCTION WITH THE REPUBLIC GOVERNMENT OF GHANA AND THE WORLD BANK (WB)
IN JOINT SUPERVISION THAT MAKES UP THE DEBT MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE. WE
APOLOGIZE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE YOU MUST HAVE EXPERIENCED IN THE PAST.
CONGRATULATIONS IN ADVANCE.
MS. CHRISTINE EVANS-KLOCK
UN HIGH COMMISSION.
HEAD OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION.