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:
- "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: "Linda Benjamin" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 2020 15:56:16 +0100
Subject: Beneficiary Fund APPOVED ....
United States Department of the Treasury
AUTHORIZED BY UNITED NATION
NEW YORK CITY.
PHONE +1 606 393 0555
Attn: Appointed Beneficiary,
I write to inform you that your file appears in my desk two days ago Through United Nations Treasury Debt Management office, says that you are among the 5 people approved to be paid half of their part payment of 600,000.00 million euros Only.Been Unfinished transactions remaining from African /Europe/Asia/America have been finally approved for immediate release to you through our financial institution authorized bank in United States into your local bank account, as ordered given by European Union Central Bank and signed by United States Treasury Department .
This arrangement was made after our last board meeting 3 days ago, signed by the Vice President of European Union Central Bank , Through appointed paying bank in United States.
I need your below information, to know if you are the rightful owner to be paid as order by Treasury Department.
Telephone / Fax.................................
Thanks and God bless.
Mrs. Linda Benjamin
Secretary MEF - Ministry of Economy and Finance - Department of Treasury