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:
- "you are required to pay " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Mohini Rothad" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2018 20:35:01 -0700
Subject: (UNCCP)Compensation Commission!
Dear, Sir / Madam
Itâs my modesty obligation to write this letter to you, I work as public relation representative for United Nations Compensation Commission Department (UNCCP) I was assigned to write this important letter to you regarding your unpaid long awaited funds. The United States Government in Conjunction with International Monetary Fund Office and United Nations Organization have come together and agreed to pay all outstanding Debts such as Unpaid Inheritance, Contracts, Lotteries and compensations funds, using the approved Foreign Exchange Allocation Order (FEAO) to clear all outstanding payment with immediate effect with the help of our banks in New York City, USA.
United Nations Compensation Department have officially authorized Federal Reserve Bank of New York City, to debit their reserve account with them to the amount of $15, 000,000 only and credit your designated bank account of your choice. All the documents for your fund is been attached to your payment file with the credited payment officer at the paying bank, authorization letter and transfer permit has been obtained from the United States Clearing House for immediate transfer of your fund as soon as you establish contact with the bank.
To ensure hitch free for the transfer of your fund, a bank guarantee letter / promissory note was acquired from the Supreme Court of New York City. The accredited payment officer Mr. Jamal Ahmad have confirmed that all the necessary requirements for the onward crediting of your fund and he verified that you are required to pay the bank logistics / handling / exchange rate fee calculated to be total sum of $485 only. The fee was stated on the guarantee letter to be the only monetary responsibility that will be requested from you until the final remittance is made into your bank account.
Furthermore, to facilitate the remittance of your fund, you are hereby advice to contact the paying bank with your personal information such as name, phone number, home address for verifying and authenticity of the formal information for onward rectification.
The bank information to use contact the accredited payment officer is provided as follow; Bank name: Federal Reserve Bank, Contact Person: Mr. Jamal Ahmad and Email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks, and we urge you to commence communication with the bank at your own convenience time and should you need further directives or clarifications, do not hesitate to contact the undersigned person.
Mrs. Mohini Rothad
Public Relations Representative
United Nations Compensation Commission