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:
- "your payment is being processed" (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)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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: UNITED NATION <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2019 22:40:52 +0100
Subject: RE: VERIFICATION AND APPROVAL OF YOUR PAYMENT FILE.
INTERNATIONAL FUNDS TRANSFER / AUDIT
UNIT UNITED NATION(WORLD BANK ASSISTED PROGRAMME)
DIRECTORATE OF INTERNATIONAL PAYMENT
AND TRANSFERS.Ref: WB/NF/UN/XX027
RE: VERIFICATION AND APPROVAL OF YOUR PAYMENT FILE.
FROM THE RECORDS OF OUTSTANDING FUNDS DUE FOR IMMEDIATE PAYMENT, YOUR
NAME/PARTICULARS WAS DISCOVERED AS NEXT ON THE APPROVED LIST.
I WISH TO INFORM YOU THAT YOUR PAYMENT IS BEING PROCESSED AND FROM THE
RECORD IN MY FILE, THE TOTAL SUM OF US$9.5M HAVE BEEN APPROVED ON YOUR
BEHALF FOR THE HALF QUARTER OF THIS 2015 FISCAL YEAR.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION, WE HAVE ASSIGNED THE CITI BANK,TO HANDLE ALL RELATED
TRANSACTIONS TO AVOID FURTHER COMPLAIN FROM BENEFICIARIES ABOUT INCESSANT
TAXES, FEES AND LEVIES.
KINDLY RE-CONFIRM THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IMMEDIATELY TO FACILITATE THE
ISSUANCE OF AN INTERNATIONAL PAYMENT JUSTIFICATION ORDER DOCUMENT ON YOUR
BEHALF WHICH WILL BE SUBMITTED TO THE CITI BANK FOR THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OF YOUR FUNDS.
1) YOUR FULL NAME:
2) CONTACT ADDRESS:
5) PHONE, FAX AND MOBILE:
AS SOON AS THIS INFORMATION IS RECEIVED, YOUR PAYMENT WILL BE MADE TO YOUR
NOMINATED BANK ACCOUNT DIRECTLY FROM THE CITI BANK.
YOUR PAYMENT APPROVAL IS MADE UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE WORLD BANK AND WE
INTEND TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE YOUR FUNDS TRANSFER. YOU ARE THEREFORE
STRONGLY ADVISE TO STOP FUTHER COMMUNICATION WITH ANY OTHER BANK OR
INSTITUTION REGARDING THIS MATTER, FOR THE OVERALL SAFETY OF YOU AND YOUR
MR. ANDREW TWEEDIE
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE,
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND.