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:
- "levy " (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. )
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: UNITED NATION
Date: Thu, 21 May 2020 15:02:00 +0400
Subject: COMPENSATION- PAYMENT
This email comes to those who are yet to receive their
compensation, inheritance, winnings, every foreign
contractors who have not received their contract sum, and
anyone who has unfinished transaction or compensation
payments which failed due to governmental or any unforseen
problems etc. The United Nations Association is to
compensate you with the sum of $4,700,000.00 USD (Four
Million, Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars).
Your email address was in the list submitted by our
Monitoring Team observers and this is the reason we have
contacted you being one of our beneficiaries. You are
advised to contact Mr. Alex Bates immediately for your
Compensation payment of $4,700,000.00 USD (Four Million,
Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) which will be
released directly to you in accordance with legal clearance
However, you should send him your Full Names, Telephone
Number(s) and Residential Address for your funds processing
He is obliged to treat your case with utmost urgency as soon
as you contact him and fill out your correct details
including all reachable phone numbers for him to get in
touch with you via phone and email.
United Nations Association