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:
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Chris Atkins" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 18 Aug 2019 09:04:34 -0400
Subject: Re: Greetings
UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION COMMISSION
OUR REF: WB/NF/UNCC/XX027
IRREVOCABLE RELEASE OF YOUR PAYMENT.
We are of the united nations debt reconciliation unit newly set up by the united nations compensation commission(UNCC) in conjunction with the world bank and the international monetary fund (IMF). Based on series of petitions we received from various organizations such as cooperate bodies and non governmental organization (NGO) on the inability of some government of different countries and world lottery organization to settle their clients contract fund, inheritance fund and winning prizes.
After an extensive close door meeting between the board of directors of the united nations compensation commission(UNCC), the world bank and international monetary fund, it was agreed that this body "world international debt reconciliation committee" will work extensively to ensure that your fund of US$210,500,000.00 (US$10.5M) is released to you with immeediate effect without any delay through the world bank and IMF Insurance body.
You are therefore expected to reconfirm the information stated herein below to enable us proceed.
1. Your full name
2. Your address
3. Your mobile/cell phone number
4. Your age.
I shall wait to hear from you with the above mentioned information to enable us experdit action and have your compensation fund released.
Thanks for your co-operation.
Mr. Chris Atkins