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:
- "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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Graham Jones" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 15 May 2018 12:44:33 -0500
Subject: Priority Payment 1
First I must apologize for contacting you if you find my help not worthy. My problem is that I hate to see people being cheated for no reason. I am a junior staff at the UN liaison office here in London UK and while going through some of the files in my office, I discovered that some people are being used and dumped by some of our Senior Directors, Banks Executives and the Government officials.
I found out that your payment has long been approved to be released to you but the greed which exist in the lives of the senior workers will never allow them to let you have your lottery/inheritance and contract payment.
Please be informed that a payment of $51,500,000.00 (Fify-On, Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) only was approved to be paid to you but this money has not yet been paid out to your account. I have found out that these top officials are using your money to trade at the International Market buying stocks and making interest while delaying your payment. These officials use delay tactics to hold on to your payment while they make money. They will tell you that your transfer will be made today and when that time comes, they will come up with another excuse why your payment was stopped or cancelled. Enough of all that.
This payment is as a result of lottery/inheritance and contract payment. which is due to you. In my further search I found out that some of the Beneficiaries are not even aware of this payment. They don't even know that such payments exist for them. I am contacting you secretly believing that you will keep this as top secret. I want to work with you to move these funds to your account within 72 hours if only you can accept to work with me.
Believe me, if you work with these bank executives, the UN office and the Government officials, all they will keep doing will be to delay the transfer while they make more profit with your payment. I have worked out modalities on how this transfer will be effected to your account immediately for you to start enjoying your benefits.
Please one thing I must ask of you is to keep this secret until we get the transfer made to your account. If you will not be able to handle the secret part of this, please let me know and I will never contact you again because what I want is to see that justice is done and your money is released to you. This payment is in your name and belongs to you so you should have it.
I need immediately your current telephone number, preferably cell phone/mobile, Skype address (if any) and address so that we can begin the process of re approving the funds to your name for possible transfer within 72 hours.
Once again, I ask that you keep this very secret and confidential until transfer is confirmed in your account.Yours faithfully,Mr.Graham Jones.UN office,London UK