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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: UNITED NATIONS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2022 05:27:02 -0800
Subject: COMPENSATION PAYMENT FOR 2021 FISCAL YEAR:
UNITED NATIONS FUNDS COMPENSATION DEPARTMENT:
NEW YORK-UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
COMPENSATION PAYMENT FOR 2021 FISCAL YEAR:
Sorry for making this contact through e-mail since we could not reach
your phone number.
This email is reaching you from the office of Antonio Guterres,
Secretary to United Nations.
A meeting was held to discuss some financial issues concerning some
individuals/Companyâs unclaimed funds at the just concluded 73rd
United Nation's general assembly within the UN/IMF.
It was concluded that every unclaimed fund denied to every enlisted
company/individual be released immediately.
All banks involved has also been issued an order to pay without
further delay, it was discovered during this meeting that no funds has
been paid to you all these years
of pursuit. The funds is now ready to be release to you since you have
been approved to receive/claim this global compensation fund worth
$15Million from the United Nations/International Monetary Fund.
We have instructions to release your payment to you. Kindly Reconfirm Your
Next of Kin;
Country of Origin;
Country of Residence;
Date of Birth in order to verify your identity with us.
The UN Board of directors in collaboration with IMF is sorry for the
delay and any inconvenience this may have caused you.
kindly send an email to this email(email@example.com) to
get an immediate response and prompt follow up.
Antonio Guterres, General Secretary United Nations