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:
- "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: "Terry Delap Mackenzie" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2020 08:12:39 -0700
Subject: Your Compensation Payment via Atm
I am writing to inform you that I am a delegate from the United Nations Compensation commission and to notify you finally about your outstanding Compensation payment of $3.9 Million USD with identification number NIG/UNCC/280/020.
This compensation is being made all over the world for losses/damages as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. An instruction was given by the Office of Presidency and United Nations (UN) and also (IMF) to transfer the Sum of $3.9 Million USD through ATM Debit Card to you, which you can use in any ATM Card cash point, Shopping mall or Banking ATM Card terminal, You can withdraw money from your ATM Debit Card from any ATM MACHINE location or center of your choice/nearest to you, in any part of the world.
For more information kindly contact us back with the following info :
Current Address :
Country of Origin :
Valid ID Card :
This is to enable us deliver your original ATM Debit Card to you within 72hrs.
Terry Delap Mackenzie ,
United Nations House Abuja .
Address: Plot 617, Diplomatic Zone , Central Area District P.M.B. 2851, Garki, Abuja
NOTE: The U.N. Compensation Commission is actually a real organization. It was created by the Security Council in 1991 as a way to compensate the victims of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and all over the world. The money for payments came from a fund that receives a percentage of the proceeds from sales of Iraqi oil.