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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Carman L. Lapointe" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2020 13:32:52 +0100
Subject: Re: YOUR URGENT RESPONSE PLEASE !
THE UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT GROUP,
IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND,
WORLD BANK FACT-FINDING & SPECIAL DUTIES OFFICE,
The United Nations Security Council, hereby receives your payment with reference number#.MAV/UNO/WBO/LM-05-371 amounting to US$10,500,000.00 (Ten Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars).This council was set up to fight against scam and fraudulent activities worldwide, responsible for verification, investigation and recommendation of overdue unpaid funds. We want to officially notify you that your funds valued at US$10,500,000.00, being payment for your Overdue Inheritance/Contract entitlements has been programmed to be transferred to a Bank Account in your country, following series of documents tendered by your Representative Mr.David L. Nielsen, and your Attorney Barrister John Swatz, of J. Swatz & Associates.
They have presented a "Power of Attorney" duly signed by you in which was clearly stated that due to some inevitable circumstances beyond your control (ILL HEALTH) that you will not be able to finalize this payment yourself, thus appointing Mr. D.L. Nielsen to act on your behalf. All transfer documents have been forwarded to the Office of the Minister for Finance for final endorsement and are mandated to be concluded in a few days from now. Please call the customer service with this email address you are contacted with , for any further change, quoting the above file reference number and within 48hrs, as no change of information will be effected after transfer of funds. As a matter of urgency, we need a re-confirmation from you if the said Man and Attorney are your True Representatives, before we proceed to issue final payment release order. Find below the account information they have presented for the transfer;
A/C Name: Mr.David L. Nielsen,
Bank: JP Morgan Chase Bank,
1 Chase Manhattan Plaza,
New York , NY.10081
Bank Routing #:021000021
We look forward to your swift response.
Mrs.Carman L. Lapointe.
Director for Special Duties.