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:
- ",500,000" (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
Date: Thu, 08 Feb 2018 02:37:53 -0800
Subject: PAYMENT VERIFICATION
United Nation Office London UK
Address: 3 Whitehall Court,London,SW1A 2ELUnited Kingdom
Tel: + 44 7 766 3454 Fax: + 44 7 000 1381
Hello Good day, Please pay attention to my message. I am Mr. António Guterres, United Nation Secretary General
I want to inform you recently that we have been instructed by the U.S Government and International Monetary Fund and in-conjunction with the World Bank to compensate you with the sum of $2,500,000 thousand USD for not receiving your inheritance/contract payment for many years due to false offices that refuses to release your funds to you.
Now we have finally made a solid agreement with the U.S Government and international monetary Fund and World Bank to compensate you with the sum of $2,500,000.00 thousand USD for your patient.
You are to provide us the below information so we can proceed to release your compensation within 3 working days.
Your Full Name:_______________________
Current address: _____________________
Means of receiving your payment: Bank wire / Cashier check or ATM CARD
We will proceed immediately to release your payment soon we receive your information on this Email: email@example.com
Thank you very much.
Mr. António Guterres,
United Nation Secretary General.