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.
- 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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "clearance document" (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. )
- "consignment " (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)
- "hundred thousand united state dollars" (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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "diplomatic delivery" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "HERBERT ALLISON" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 21 May 2020 05:10:37 -0700
Subject: Attention: Sir/Madam
This is to notify you that you have been officially chosen by the Board of The United Nation Development Fund(UNDF)
as one of the recipients of the sum of $4,700,000.00 (Four million, Seven hundred thousand United State Dollars) to you as part of the Grant/Donation for Economic Growth and Poverty Alleviation Scheme.
The Financial Intelligence Unit through it's verse security wire tap has reconfirmed that several attempts has been made by many unauthorized personnel through different methods such as Automated card payment system (ATM) method, (Bank Drafts) Method, Consignment Diplomatic Delivery method, Undefined Bank Wire Transfer method etc, and all attempts by the unauthorized personnel to move this fund according to information have been futile and frustrated by the Financial Intelligence Units global security for years.
However, You are receiving this mail because your name and email address were stated on the payment manifest submitted to us by United Nation Development Fund(UNDF) external auditors for the complete payment of your long awaited fund to the tune of $4,700,000.00 (Four Million and seven Hundred Thousand United State Of American Dollars). Therefore you are required to stop all further communication with every other individuals or offices regard this payment as your fund is in our custody and will be completely transferred to you accordingly.
Though your fund payment through this office have genuine source with all the legal clearance documents prepared to back up the fund transfer. In other to complete this payment accordingly, you will be required to reconfirm your present home address and active phone number for immediate release of your fund as schedule by the authorized bank.
Your urgent response is required and note that this fund transfer will only take three working days to be completed.
Mr. Herbert Allison.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
U.S. Ambassador to UK.
CC: Jim Yong Kim President of the World Bank
CC: Mr. Ant?nio Guterres UN Secretary General