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.
- This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
Fraud email example:
From: "FROM MRS SUZZANE CRAMNER" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2021 19:47:24 -0700
Subject: Ref: IMF/IRU/SFE/UN/CBN/020
In regards to the recent meeting between the United Nations and the
Present United States Government to restore the dignity and Economy of the Nation, based on the Agreement with the World Bank Assistance to help and make the world a better place for all with the sole aim of abolishing poverty. We have been having a meeting for the past six months which ended Four days ago. Your email address was among the list of victims submitted to our branch in Philadelphia, for verification"for purported foreign contracts, Inheritance, Investment and business grants together with people that allegedly had unfinished transactions or international Lottery payments that failed due to purported Government policies etc.
It was resolved and agreed upon that your payment of $800,000 (Eight
Hundred Thousand Dollars Only) would be released to you from
Standard MBF BANK.
Furthermore, security for your funds was organized in the form of your
personal Identification Reference number for the Bank transfer and
this will enable only you to have direct control over your funds
through this new arrangement. Your payment file has been forwarded to Standard Bank France, we will monitor this payment ourselves to avoid the hopeless situation created by the corrupt government or Bank officials.
The Financial Service Authorities in Collaboration with the United Nation
Fund Release Order Department have conveyed a power to the Standard MBF BANK to finish this transaction with you within 10 DAYS maximum hence the due formalities are followed.
Mr Raymond Puto.
International Correspondent Director
NOTE: You are advised to furnish them with your correct and valid
details. Also be informed that the amount to be paid to you now is
FROM MRS SUZZANE CRAMNER
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PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL: Information contained in this e-mail
transmission is privileged, confidential and covered by the Electronic
Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. Sections 2510-2521.