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:
- "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)
- "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)
- 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: "UN Compensation Fund" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2017 18:24:29 -0700
Subject: COMPENSATION FUND!
REF: SWIFT DIPLOMATIC PAYMENT ORDER OF US$700,000.00(SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLAR ONLY:
Dear: Email Account Owner,
This is to officially inform you that the executive board of directors of World Bank and the United Nations has launched Funds Recovery and compensation program (WB/UN/RB/BOA) in partner with Reserve Bank of South Africa, we discovered that a lot of people has been scammed in the continent of Africa in many ways and during claiming process and payment files that were dumped untreated in the past years, After Our Deliberation at the council meeting an instruction was given to the South African Reserve bank to finalize a payment of US$700,000.00 (Seven Hundred thousand United States Dollars Only) in your favor, note that your email Address/name was among the outstanding list due for payment according to our central system network,
Furthermore: The above mentioned organizations has granted you the total sum of US$700,000.00 (Seven Hundred thousand United States Dollars Only) kindly fill in the below required details for perfect facilitating of your payment,
1. FIRST NAME / SURNAME:
6. DO YOU NEED ATM CARD OR WIRE TRANSFER?
Note that the target of this office is to ensure that all per-qualified Beneficiaries received their payment within the next 14 working days of the commencement of the per-qualification exercise; we therefore seek for your full co-operation to ensure our aim target is archived successfully as promised. Kindly forward the required details to the payment consultant Mr. Eric Fish.
Mr. Eric Fish
Tel: +27 74 212 5864
Note that you will receive this information from any of our agents with our official e mail or private email and domain.
Eng, Mary Edison (Regional Secretary World Bank)