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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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 (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- award money. contact name: mrs. margaret alexander e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (or) email@example.com all correspondences to mrs. (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Sophia Thomas" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2020 04:41:09 -0800
Subject: Grant Award of US$5,550,000 to bank account
Please are you the owner of this email address? If yes, then congratulations!
We wish to congratulate and inform you that you have been selected by
the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP) based in the United Kingdom for a Cash Grant US$5,550,000.00
for your contribution in the educational, business and social
development of your community.
Winners of the Cash Grant award were selected from over 450,000
individuals and companies worldwide, who have actively contributed to
one or more developmental projects in their respective environments in
Your US$5,550,000.00 Cash Grant compensation will be credited to your
submitted bank account within 3 working days and telex confirmation
forwarded to you and your bankers for confirmation.
For the immediate transfer of the US$5,550,000.00 to your bank
account, kindly contact Mrs. Margaret Alexander today with the below
information for more details and she will give you guidelines on how
to claim your grant award money.
Contact Name: Mrs. Margaret Alexander
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (OR) email@example.com
All correspondences to Mrs. Margaret Alexander should have the
reference number: "UNDP/GAN4307653GT" sent along with your Full Names
and Telephone numbers for prompt attention.
Once again Congratulations.
Grant Payment Officer - UNDP