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.
- 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: "United Nation Compensation unit" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2017 11:09:28 -0500
Subject: Your Compensation Payment..
ATTENTION BENEFICIARY: Your Compensation Payment From United Nation
We wish to notify you as a beneficiary in compensation of $1.200.000, We
the authorized governing body of the United Nations Monitory unit has been
authorized to investigate the unnecessary delay on your payment
recommended and approved in your favor by the United National Security
Council. During the course of our investigation, we discovered with dismay
that your payment has been unnecessarily delayed by corrupt officials of
the previously appointed paying bank who were making effort to divert
allocated funds into their private bank accounts.The United Nation
Compensation unit has deposited your fund to ATM VISA CARD. All you have
to do now is to contact our Office Secretary Name: Mr Devid Mike Email:
email@example.com Tel: +229 9661 6188 Ask him to send
you the VISA ATM Card containing the total of $1.200.000, One million two
hundred thousand dollars, he will give you direction on how you will
receive your ATM VISA CARD immediately. Thanks and God bless you and your
Mr Donadi Gooodluck
For United Nations.