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:
- 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.
- 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: UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2022 04:26:36 +0100
Subject: Legally Approved Compensation
Office of The U.S Dept of the treasury,
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW, in Washington, D.C
United States of America.
UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION COMMISSION AWARDS YOU A COMPENSATION FUND
As a matter of urgency, I would like to use this medium to officially
inform you that after going through your payment files, I noticed that
you have not received your outstanding contract/inheritance payment
due to inequity and unfairness by the financial institution that
executed your contract/inheritance payment.However, some group of
impostors are trying to steal your fund without your consent.
For this reason, I have been mandated to personally contact you by the
United Nations Compensation Commission(UNCC) and officially inform you
that you have been awarded a compensation payment of $3.5million by
In order to apply equity and fairness in your compensation payment,
the UNCC has issued remittance instructions to Citibank New York to
release your compensation fund to your personal bank account through
their telephone Banking platform. In this case, you are advised to get
back to me immediately so that I can issue the Citibank official's
contact information to enable you contact the bank for payment advise.
Kindly contact me at email address below for further remittance advise.
Yours in Service,
United States Secretary of the Treasury.