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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "António Guterres (United Nations )" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2022 21:49:13 +0100
Subject: (RE-CONFIRM YOUR INFORMATION TO RECEIVE YOUR FUND US$1.5M)
Hello and Congratulations!!!
This is to acquaint you on the outcome of our 1 day meeting held
between the U.S Department of Homeland security Washington DC, U.N
International Financial Investigation Unit and the Association of
Better Business Bureau to compensate all scam victims. Upon due
verification, we have jointly approved the sum US$1.5m (One million,
Five hundred thousand United States Dollars) for every confirmed
victim. Your E-mail address was selected through a just concluded
random computer ballot system, and you were among the few selected
beneficiary to be compensated at the ongoing 2022 compensation
Furthermore, adequate arrangement has been put in place for your
approved payment to be remitted to you via issuance of a Platinum Visa
Debit Card that can be accessible at any inter-switch cash machine
anywhere in the world.
Finally; for the purpose of proper verification of your claims, it is
imperative that you furnish us with the following of your details
necessary to process release/remittance of your payment:
Your Full Name(s):
Your Direct Telephone Number:
Contact Address( For Your Visa Card Delivery)
Photocopy of any I.D you may have:
You are expected to forward the above information to the Authorized
Payment Center in Africa below:
Paying Bank: ZENITH BANK PLC
Contact Person: CHRIS LUCAS
You are advised to contact the above bank immediately with your
information to enable your fund processed and released to you within
the stipulated time frame.
United Nations Secretary-General