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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Hope Franklin <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2021 19:45:18 +0100
Subject: RE: STATUS OF YOUR INHERITANCE FUND!
UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS TREATIES DIVISION
HEADQUARTERS (NEW YORK): FIRST AVENUE, 46TH STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10017, U.S.A.
TEL/FAX: (212) 963 3301
We hope this message meets you in the best of health. We have sent you
several messages regarding the approval of your impending inheritance
funds; but until now we are yet to receive any feedback from your side,thus
We therefore wish to use this opportunity again to inform you again that
your inheritance fund valued $10.5M has finally been released and you have
been approved to receive this fund through our correspondent Bank, who will
give you an Online Access details where your funds have been deposited in
your name. It is known as Online banking, also known as internet banking or
web banking. It is an electronic payment system that enables beneficiary(s)
to conduct financial transactions through their online accounts. This way,
you will be able to transfer your inheritance funds from your online
account into your personal bank account anywhere in the world.
Secondly, if the above option isn't conducive for you may have the bank
upgrade your inheritance fund into an Automated Teller Card (ATM MASTER
CARD). This is in our bid and dedication to providing you with safe, secure
and reliable transactions and of course prompts payouts. This method of
payment would protect your fund against diversion and possible embezzlement
hence security is an issue of paramount importance to us, and we have
adopted variety of mechanisms and precautions to fully
protect you against fraud and theft.
Below are the outlined benefits of payments by Automated Teller Card
* Withdrawal of your funds from virtually any automated teller machine
worldwide. More than 945,000 visa/plus ATMâs in more than 150
countries!- use your digital ATM electronic card number to make online
purchases, wherever it's acceptable.
* Use your digital ATM electronic card to make purchases at select
visa/digital ATM merchant terminals.
* send and receive funds instantly and easily to and from other
visa/digital ATM account holders.
* No need to have a bank account to receive money.
* Very fast payment option, usually faster than a wire transfer!
* Less expensive than a wire transfer in most cases.
* Your money is securely deposited in a US dollar account.
* A personalized visa/digital ATM card with your embossed name or preferred.
* Secured access to your money!
To this effect, Please we would appreciate you reconfirm your personal
data in the format shown below, for information verification and
Names: (In Full)
Date of Birth:
I.D., such as Driver's License/ National I.D., or International Passport.
After we have received your details and confirm that you are the supposed
recipient, we shall connect you directly to our correspondent Bank and
you will promptly be paid depending your choice of payment.
We also realize you may have questions that need to be answered and we
are available to make sure those answers are delivered to you promptly
and to your complete satisfaction. You are at liberty to email us if you
have any concern.
Thank you and God bless.
Yours in Service
AntÃ³nio Guterres (Secretary-General)