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:
- "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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "Stephen O'Brien (UNITED NATION)" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2017 06:15:00 +0100
Subject: IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR FUND US$1.5M ONLY VIA ATM MASTER CARD
World Bank Assisted Program
Directorate Of International
Payment And Transfer.
Debt Reconciliation/Audit Unit
United Nations Headquarters,
New York, NY 10017, U.S.A.
Our Ref: WB/NF/UN/XX028 United Nations.
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR FUND US$1.5M ONLY VIA ATM MASTER CARD
It is a pleasure to write you that we have reconciled with our logistic department on the reimbursement of some fund spent by you during the cause of your inadequate dealings with some impostors who claim to be staff in banks and other regional payment centres. Our reconciliation teams with the prospectus instruments of the United Nations after freezing suspected impostors accounts. These supports was fully effective with the help of World Bank after a summit meeting in U.S.A, on the financial analysis on financial stability issues fluctuating their economy with the international global standard.
After gathering of this sum, our logistic department gave us a list of customers to be paid the sum US$1.5m (One million, Five hundred thousand United States) who fell victims to this impostors due to unawareness. And mode of payment was as well specified for proper conducts and financial regulations to kick against criminality during process of payment. We have arranged your payment through our swift card centres, which is the latest instruction from International Monetary Fund Reconciliation Office.
The card centre will send you an ATM master card loaded with cash which you will use to withdraw your money in any ATM centre, Banks and Union Pay Credit outlets in the world, You are hereby selected as an honour for this payment approval, which you are to acknowledge the receipt of this mail in returning the required below to the ZENITH BANK Department by email listed below.
Paying Bank: Zenith Bank Plc
Contact Person: Chris Lucas
Finally; for the purpose of proper verification of your claims, it is imperative that you furnish us with the following of
your details necessary to process release/remittance of your payment:
1) YOUR FULL NAME(S).................
2) FULL ADDRESS, CITY ( FOR ATM DELIVERY) ................
4) COUNTRY ... .............................
3) DIRECT HOME.......................
4) MOBILE PHONE AND FAX..............
4) COMPANY NAME......................
5) POSITION AND ADDRESS (IF ANY).....
8) AGE, AND MARITAL STATUS:...............
9) A COPY OF YOUR INT'L PASSPORT/DRIVERS LICENSE:
For your information, you have to stop any further communication with any other person (s) or office (s) to avoid any hitches in receiving your payment. Because of Impostors, we hereby issued you our code of conduct, which is (ATM-7750) so you have to indicate this code when contacting the Card centre by using it as your subject.
Kindly be informed that recipients shall be liable to all cost arising for the delivery of the donation parcel. This is due to Legal law protecting all donation funds misappropriation.
Yours in Service,
United Nations Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs,Emergency Relief
NOTICE: This E-mail (including attachments) is covered by the
Electronic Communication Privacy Acts, 18 U.S.C Sec 2510-2521, is
confidential and may be legally privileged. The information is solely
for the use of the addressee named above. If you are not the intended
recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution, or other use of the
contents of this information is strictly prohibited. If you have
received this E-mail in error, please notify us by return e-mail and
delete this message.