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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "million 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "UN ECOSOC / 2021" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 25 May 2021 13:52:27 +0400
The United Nations and the World Bank Group
Funds Office United Nations
1775K St New # 400 Washington D.C 20006-1500,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Â Â Â Â
PRESS RELEASE NO: 2021/168/ECR
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION COMMISSION PAYS OUT $995 MILLION US
We have actually been authorized by the newly appointed UNITED NATIONS
Secretary General and the governing body of the International
Monetary Unit, and Finance Ministry, has investigated your fund, which
Has been on transfer process for some period of time. During the
Second quarter of the general Financial Auditing, the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), has recovered your fund at the tune of ($4, 5
Million Dollars), which was to be paid to you through bank-to-bank
Transfer to your account.
Signed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and World Bank Group
President Jim Yong Kim, the SPF includes four key areas of
Cooperation: finance and implementation support to release the sum of
($4, 5 Million Dollars), to all the scam victimsâ and to help
Countries reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); decisive
Global action on climate change; joint work in post-crisis and
Humanitarian settings; and harnessing data to improve development
And after the auditing, United States of America Government and
International Monetary Fund has decides that the entire recovered and
returned funds should be paid to their various owners within 7 days.
This decision was taking by the Board of the auditors in the Finance
Ministry (Office of the Treasury), and at present the fund is in the
Escrow account with Bank of England. For the security of your funds
And was organized in the form of your personal Identification and this
Will enable only you to have direct Control over your funds, and we
Will monitor this payment ourselves to avoid any hopeless situation
Created by officials of the bank.
An irrevocable payment guarantee has been issued by the World Bank
Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on your Payment.
However, we are happy to inform you that based on our recommendation /
Instructions; your complete Inheritance / Compensation funds have been
Credited in your favor through one of our paying bank in New York. Â
And you are therefore advised to contact (Mr. Owen Joseph, our General
Consultant), the Payment Director immediately.
You are therefore advice to contact:
MR. OWEN JOSEPH, THE GENERAL CONSULTANT
FAX: +2786 218 2899
E-MAIL: Â email@example.comÂ
PAYOUT AMOUNT: ($4, 5 Million Dollars)
Contact him now for the processing of your payment.Â And as soon as
You establish a contact with him, your payment will be process and
Transfer to you immediately. So if you like to receive your funds
Youâre advised to contact (Mr. Owen Joseph, our General Consultant)
With the following information as stated below:
Please send your payment file Number to the bank Payment file: RBI-
The Correspondence & Enquiry Unit,
Finance Ministry,Â Â