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:
- "million 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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "economic and financial crime commission" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "UNIOS 2018 - Heidi Lloce-Mendoza" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:13:49 -0700
Subject: Re: September 20, 2018 - Message From Heidi Lloce-Mendoza - UNIOS ....... lh
UNITED NATIONS OVERDUE COMPENSATION UNIT.
REFERENCE PAYMENT CODE: 5205530
AMOUNT: $1 Million USD
Good day to you.
This message is scam and fraud protected and secured by an anti-scam certificate. This will be issued by the competent
authority. You may not understand why this email came to you.
United Nation Compensatory Committee has sat and deliberated on a lasting solution to compensate listed beneficiaries and scammed victims their long overdue outstanding grants. Several meetings were held and sittings ended on 31st, March 2018.
This email is intended to reach all the innocent citizens that had been scammed from any part of the world, including
those that have lost their properties in the earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters.
United Nations and World Bank have agreed to compensate such victims with a sum of One Million United States Dollars
This grant includes every foreign contractors that have not received their contract sum and those that have pending
unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government policy problems etc.
Your name and email address was on the list submitted by our Monitoring Team of Economic and Financial Crime Commission
observers, and that is why we are reaching you with this notification.
The payment resolve has been agreed upon and signed.
You are advised to contact David Gold, he is the UN assigned delegate and overseer, contact him immediately for your
payment draft voucher sum of $1 Million United States Dollars.
Contact David Gold upon reading this notification, endeavor to send him your full Name and telephone number with your
current residence address for validation.
You can reach Mr. David Gold by email on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: +1 917-935-0031
Good luck, with best regards.
Under Secretary General for the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight - UNIOS
UN making the world a better place