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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "UN" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2021 19:04:37 -0700
Subject: Your Payment
OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL
405 East 42nd Street,
New York, NY
United States of America.
I am Amina J. Mohammed,the newly appointed Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations.
Having just resumed and in the course of duty,I have before me a forfeiture file which is a request from various agencies and banks for approval for a final forfeiture to various funds previously approved for payment.
Amongst these funds is the $1.2m accumulated interest on your fund.In the spirit of fair hearing and our effort to re-position the United Nations and her agencies for better service to humanity,I want to reconfirm that you agreed to forfeit same to us or reasons why you did not receive the above in spite of the allocation and approval.
Your prompt response will inform our decision to either approve for final forfeiture or recommend for renewed efforts to pay you through a more reliable agency or bank.
Amina J. Mohammed
(UN Deputy Sec,Gen)