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:
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: United Nations <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 19 May 2022 03:17:15 -0700
Subject: To whom it may concern
Greetings from the office of the United Nations Organization, It's my pleasure to inform you that an unpaid payment attached to your name and email has been ordered to be released with immediate effect.
Due to this it's urgent you respond back confirming your full name, Valid identity means, and phone number for further investigation before release is carried out, Your name is withheld for security reasons that people change email, and people's emails also get hacked.
Don't neglect this notice.
Mr. Alexander Walter
Director of Human Settlements Programme
The United Nations Unpaid Payment Center
New York, NY 10017, United States
Direct Tel: +1 (347) 394-5813.