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:
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: " Mrs Asha-RoseI" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2021 13:11:11 -0800
Subject: Attention:Scammed Victim,
This is to bring to your notice that the General Assembly of the United Nations approved compensation of Three Million Five hundred thousand (US$3.5M)United States dollars only to the scammed victims of the 193 Countries in the World that make up the General Assembly of the United Nation.This decision was taken in their meeting held in their headquarters in New York USA.The meeting was their 7th regular session of the General Assembly opened on the 17th September 2019 to 30th September 2019.Now on their 74th session also in New York held on the 13th March 2020,the final approval was given for this payment.The meeting was preceded over by their incumbent President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande.It was unanimously agreed that the payment must be done by ATM,Certified Bank Draft or Online bank Transfer which a Bank In London and a Bank in USA were chosen to handle together to release the ATM Cards to all of you scammed victims to make sure that they receive their ATM Card with out delay hence you co-operate with them.You are there fore advised to send the following information:
On receipt of this information from you,We will forward the contact information of the paying bank to you without delay.
Mrs Asha-Rose Migiro
Secretary United Nations General Assembly