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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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: Achim Steiner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2021 07:51:53 -0500
Subject: authorized to send you a reimbursement of $1,800,000
You are welcome to the desk of Mr. Achim Steiner the Administrator of the
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), working together towards a
corruption-free world by promoting and defending integrity, justice, and
rule of the law mission statement of the international anti-corruption
After the recent International Bank Ethics meeting held in New
York by the Board of Governors of Central Banks in conjunction with IMF
Delegates and Foreign Debt Experts, I am mandated to reconcile all final
outstanding foreign debts from Americas, Asia, Australia, Africa, and
Europe associated with unpaid contracts, inheritance, compensation, grants,
account diversions, etc. in consideration of the recent legislative
proposal with Memorandum of Understanding (MU) signed by the IMF Office
(International Monetary Fund), United Nations and Bank For International
Settlement (BIS) to ultimately resolve petitions/charges brought by the
Therefore; I am authorized to send you a reimbursement of $1,800,000 (One
million Eight Hundred thousand United States dollars), we apologize for the
delay of your payment and all the Inconveniences and hiccups that we might
have caused you. However, we were having some minor problems with our
payment system, which is Inexplicable, and have held us stranded and
Indolent, not having the Prerequisite to devote our 100% endowment in
accrediting foreign payments.
You are required to immediately reconfirm the below information for
verification and processing of your payment accordingly. Please re-confirm
the below details:-.
1. Your full names:
2. Your address:
3. Your direct telephone number:
4. Your Occupation:
5. Age and Gender:
6. Your valid means of identification (State Driver's License,
International Passport, etc.)
MANDATE: You have until 72 bank working hours from now to file a
reimbursement claim to get your money back as instructed by the U.S.
Financial Regulatory System following the Memorandum of Understanding (MU)
signed with the above-mentioned body.
Any inconveniences that this might cause you are most regrettable while I
guarantee you a highly classified and secured transaction process at this
We look forward to your timely response and to expedite this process while
thanking you for your anticipated cooperation.
Mr. Achim Steiner
The administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)