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 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Compensation Committee." (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2017 19:48:24 +0100
Subject: Dear Valued Beneficiary (Last Reminder).
Dear Valued Beneficiary (Last reminder).
On behalf of the World Bank, the United Nations (UN), the United States
Treasury Department, The International Criminal Police Organization,
ICPO or INTERPOL, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA), it has been identified that you were in
several contacts with people in various EU Countries, United States of
America, United Kingdom-London, Malaysia, Nigeria/Entire Africa Region,
the entire Asia Countries and the entire Middle East without you knowing
their operating locations.
The World Bank has pledged that all scam reconciliation payment should
be made by a reputable bank via any chosen/preferred payment method.
After a judicial review by the World Bank and the G20 Summit. The United
Nations have carried out a judicial due diligence and we hereby confirm
that these impostors operates with false promises by the form of fake
diplomatic services, fake online banking system, fake lawyers, fake
intimate online dating love and fake security firms/companies.
Consequently, the UN has by virtue of this constitutional power and
authority wish to inform you that the sum of (One Million, Five Hundred
Thousand United State Dollars Only) will be paid to you with the view of
making sure that you receive this fund, via a scam compensation
agreement once we ascertain your bonafide status that you have lost
money through any means mentioned above.
For effective compensation processing, we want you to reconfirm the
following information ASAP:-
1) Your full names.
2) Your telephone and fax numbers.
3) Your secured address for the delivery of your Visa ATM Debit Card.
Once we receive information above, we shall advise you accordingly.
We await your urgent attention.