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:
- "clearance fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Inga-Britt Ahlenius" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2022 00:09:03 +0100
Subject: UNITED NATIONS PAYMENT NOTICE.......
UNITED NATIONS OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL OVERSIGHT SERVICES
Internal Audit, Monitoring, Consulting and Investigations Division
From: Mrs. Inga-Britt Ahlenius
This is to inform you that I came to New York yesterday from London,
after series of complains from the FBI and other Security agencies
from Asia, Europe, Oceania, Antarctica, South Erica and the United
States of America Respectively, against the Federal Government of
United States of America and the British Government for the rate of
scam activities going on in these two nations.
I have met with the President of United States of America President
Mr. Joe Biden of who claimed that he has been trying his best to
make sure you receive your fund in your bank account since he was
elected as president of United States of America.
Right now, as directed by our secretary general Mr. AntÃ³nio Guterres,
We are working in collaborations with United States Federal Bureau Of
Investigation (FBI) and have decided to waive away all your clearance
fees/Charges and authorize Government of United States of America to
effect the payment of your compensation of an amount of $10M dollars
approved by both British government and the UNITED NATIONS into your
bank account without any further delay. The only fee you will pay to
confirm your fund into your bank account is your Notarization fee,
which will cost you only but $350, 00 united state dollars, to the
Sincerely, you are a lucky person because I have just discovered that
some top United States of America and British Government Officials are
interested in your fund and they are working in collaboration with One
Mr.Richard Graves from USA to frustrate you and thereafter divert your
fund into their personal bank account.
I have a very limited time to stay in New York here so I would like
you to urgently respond to this message so that I can advise you on
how best to confirm your fund into your bank account within the next
72 hours. For oral discussion, i will release my telephone line once i
hear from you okay, Iâm back to take over my office.
From: Inga-Britt Ahlenius