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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: UN Office <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2022 03:00:54 -0700
Subject: GOOD NEWS!!!
Mr. AntÃ³nio Guterres
chairperson of the Economic
and Social Council of United Nations (UN)
Attn: Did you Authorized Anyone To Claim Your Funds?
I'm Mr. AntÃ³nio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General and I
am the chairperson of the
Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (UN) and
coordinating Chairman of the UN working committee in the West African
region. Your payment file was brought to my desk since last week with
an application of change of beneficiary submitted by Mr. Denis Paul
Gilbert from USA submitted claims on your funds stating that you are
dead and also he was given the authority to claim the funds Five
Million Six Hundred Thousand United State Dollars(US$5.6M)
Although we stopped him first until we receive a confirmation from
you. You are therefore requested to get back to us to confirm the
authenticity of the application of claim submitted by Denis Gilbert
Paul or if you did not authorized him for any reason, urgently get
back to us so that we can direct you on how you are going to receive
Kindly Confirm the following required information about you to my
personal email address
1) YOUR FULL NAME:....
2) YOUR COUNTRY:.....
3) YOUR ADDRESS:......
4) YOUR PHONE NUMBER:.....
PLEASE, DO RECONFIRM TO THIS OFFICE , AS A MATTER OF URGENCY IF THIS
MAN IS FROM YOU SO THAT THE UNITED NATIONS WILL NOT BEHELD
RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING INTO THE WRONG ACCOUNT NAME.
Mr. AntÃ³nio Guterres
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org