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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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 state 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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Olivier Adam" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 10 Jan 2021 21:50:26 -0800
Subject: HAPPY NEW YEAR
Compliment, I am Olivier Adam, Executive Co-coordinator of UNV the Human Development impact of COVID-19, UNHCR's goal is to reach out 15,000 people around the world for compensation and assist them financially at this first quarter batch 2021, of the year, you have been selected as one of the beneficiary of this initiative, The total sum of Five Million Six Hundred thousand United state Dollars (US$5.6M) grant has been approved to you for claim. United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund. Funds also help UNHCR distribute personal hygiene kits and other essential items and sustain activities to prevent and combat gender-based violence implemented in partnership with UN Women and the UN Population Fund.
Please send your complete information for more details and urgent delivery of your fund.
Your full name: phone number: Contact me via email: email@example.com
Congratulations as I wait your urgent reply. all funds to be remmitted to beneficiary before UN summit in january ending to push action on COVID-19 pandemic
Thanks for your time and expecting your response.
Mr. Olivier Adam
UN debit cards provide safety net during COVID-19
UNDP Executive Board
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: The information contained in and transmitted with this communication is strictly confidential, is intended only for the use of the intended recipient. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use of the information contained in or transmitted with the communication is strictly prohibited by law. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately return this communication to the sender and delete the original message and any copy in your possession. Communications from us may be monitored and we cannot guarantee these messages are secure or error free. Therefore, we do not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions that are present in this message, or any attachment, that have arisen as a result of this transmission. If verification is required, please request a hard-copy version. Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the firm. ญญ