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:
- 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:
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Anthonio Guitarez"<email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2019 01:24:55 -0800
Subject: Bank Transfer DYJPHNQBLL
UN Visitor Centre
Department of Public Information
United Nations Headquarters
New York, NY 10017
United Nations Compensation Unit, In Affiliation with World Bank Our Ref: UN/WBO/042UK/2019.
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and family? You may not understand why this mail came to you. We have been having a meeting for the past 6 months which just ended few days ago with the secretary to the UNITED NATIONS. This email is to all the people that have been scammed. UNITED NATIONS in Affiliation with WORLD BANK have agreed to compensate them with the sum of USD 1.5 Million.
This includes every foreign contractors that may have not received their contract sum, and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government problems etc. We found your name in the list of those who are to benefit from these compensation exercise and that is why we are contacting you, this have been agreed upon and have been signed. You are advised to contact Dr. Meier Heidi of our paying centre in Europe, as he is our representative there, contact him immediately on more information how to receive your fund.
This fund is in form of INTERSWIFT GLOBAL ATM CARD for security purpose, with this ATM CARD you can withdraw your fund from any ATM TELLER MACHINE in the world, you should send him your full Name and telephone number your correct mailing address where you want him to send the Draft to you. Contact Dr. Meier Heidi with your payment code:ST/DPI/829 immediately for your Cheque at the given address below:
Director in Charge: Dr. Meier Heidi
I apologise on behalf of my organisation for any delay you might have encountered in the past. Thanks and God bless you and your family. Hoping to hear from you as soon as you cash through you INTERSWIFT ATM CARD.
You are required to contact the above person and furnish him with the following of your information that will be required to avoid any mistakes:-
1. Your Full Name :
2. Your Telephone No:
3. Your Home or Office Address :
4. Age/Occupation/Marital Status:
5. Scanned copy of your identification:
Congratulations, and I look forward to hear from you as soon as you confirm your payment making the world a better place.
Mr. Ant?nio Guterres
Secretary General of the United Nations