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:
- "million 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "economic and financial crime commission" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "UN COMPENSATIONS PAYMENTS UNIT" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2019 15:36:24 -0800
Subject: Your Check/International Bank Draft,
UN COMPENSATIONS PAYMENTS UNIT.
REF/PAYMENTS CODE: 09284B.
AMOUNT ; $3 Million USD.
How are you, Hope all is well with you and your family, You may not understand why this mail came to you, United Nation have been having a meeting for the past 3 weeks which ended 20th December, 2018 with the World Bank President Mr.Jim Yong Kim and the New USA Secretary of State Mr. Mike Pompeo.
This email is to all the people that have been scammed in any part of the world, and the people that have lost their properties in the earthquakes and tsunami United Nations and World Bank have agreed to compensate them with the sum of Three Million United States Dollars ($USD3,000,000.00) each, this includes every foreign contractors that may have not received their contract sum and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government problems etc.
Your name and email was in the list submitted by our Monitoring Team of Economic and Financial Crime Commission observers and this is why we are contacting you, this have been agreed upon and have been signed.
You are advised to contact Mr. John C. Williams of Federal Reserve Bank New York, as he is our representative, contact him immediately for your check/International Bank Draft of Three Million United States Dollars ($USD3,000,000.00) This funds are in a Bank Draft for security purpose so he will send it to you and you can clear it in any bank of your choice.
Therefore, you should send him your full Name and telephone number with your correct mailing address, where you want him to send the Draft to you.
Contact Mr. John C. Williams immediately for your Check:
Name: Mr. John C. Williams
Good-luck and kind regards,
Mr. António Guterres
Secretary (UNITED NATIONS).
UN making the world a better place