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:
- 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)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: United Nations <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 6 Aug 2020 14:39:15 +0000
Subject: Attn: Hon Beneficiary??,.
United Nations Headquarter
Plot 617/618 Central Area District,
Diplomatic Zone, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria
Attn: Hon Beneficiary,
I wish to notify you that the sum of US$3.5 million United States Dollars only, has been approved to you.This action, was the final resolution taken by United Nations/IMF to clear up all outstanding debt by cutting all debt payments down to S$3.5million only to each beneficiary. We have so far reconciled and have paid over 62 beneficiaries, who have had various problems receiving their payments in the past. We have been able to ascertain the cause of some of these delays, which was pointed to divert of beneficiary's funds by officials of payment agencies or Banks. Fraudulent officials and banks that unfeelingly extort money from beneficiaries.
All these problems have been removed and most beneficiaries whose records have been submitted to us have been paid directly by (ATM Visa card). Acknowledge receipt of this letter urgently and state in your response to us how you want to receive this fund.
You are to send your,
Your correct mailing address:
I await your response.
UN Payment Officer.