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:
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.Steven Strcikland" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 17 May 2021 03:42:57 -0700
Subject: YOUR PAYMENT ARRANGEMENT (CODE 190.198)
UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION TEAM
Hawking Way Hatfield Business Park
Hatfield Hertfordshire AL 10 9BW
Admin Head Office U.N.O Compensation Notification,
We held a meeting last week concerning contract payment , both foreign and local contractors
and some inheritance funds.
On going through contractors file yesterday, we discovered that your file
was dumped untreated, so at this juncture, we apologize for the delay of
your contract payment and please stop communicating with any office now and
attention to the appointed office below for you to receive your payment
However,I wish to inform you now that your outstanding contract payment is
($15,000,000. fifteen Million United States dollars).
Now you?re new Payment Reference No.-35460021, Allocation No: 674632
Password No: 339331 , Pin Code No: 55674 and your Certificate of Merit
No : 103 , BANK Release Code No: 0763; Immediate Telex confirmation No:
-1114433 ; Secret Code No: XXTN013, Having received these vital payment
number , therefore You are qualified now to received and confirm Your payment with
the UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION TEAM immediately within the next week.
We the entire members of the UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION TEAM are using this urgent medium to
advise you to make payment of your GNAB fee of $550 without any further
delay. Be rest assured that our appointment to handle and take care of the
movement of the fund will not be in vain as we are giving you 100% guarantee
to deliver the work as soon as your western union information reach us at
our house email addresses it is not less than 24hours that the order was
Note that your fund will be free to move from the bank without any delay if
you get the governments non assessment bonds (GNAB) which is $550 only to
make sure that no government monitor or agent can access the fund during the
delivery remittance. You have to get the gnab written on your name and
stamped before the fund credit to your bank account.
This was why we have not approved or sign off the bonds of your transfer
registry today as the bank insists on the GNAB.
Based on these explanations, you are hereby advised to send payment
information of $550 through our direct email address on or before ten
working days.as the closing date placed.
This gnab will show that the transaction was made through the full capacity
of the government and will not be queried for certain circumstance. Get back to me
so that i will give you informations for the payment of the $550 GNAB requirements:
Bear in mind that this is the final stage of this transfer.
As soon as this is done, it will take only 24hours for the fund to be
credited in your designated bank account, you will be contacted by your Bank
DR STEVEN STRICKLAND