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 NATION <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2022 23:08:29 +0100
Subject: COMPENSATION PAYMENT FOR 2022 FISCAL YEAR:
UNITED NATIONS FUND COMPENSATION DEPARTMENT:
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM.
Dear Sir or Madam,
COMPENSATION PAYMENT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2022:
Sorry for contacting you via email as we could not reach you
My name is Miss Lynda Green United Nations Special Agent. A meeting was held
on your behalf by the just concluded 73rd General Assembly of the United Nations
within the UN/IMF countries regarding the unclaimed funds that many
are being denied
people all over the world. Your money is released to you upon payment
Bank for immediate payment. It was established during this meeting that No
Funds have been paid to you for all your years of striving. The funds
are now ready
be released to you as you have been authorized to receive/claim it
Compensation payment of US$15 million
We have instructions to release your payment to you. Please forward yours
Name, address, phone number, family and occupation for release
your payment. The UN apologizes for the delay in releasing the funds.
Please email this email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive one
MISS LYNDA GREEN,
UN SPECIAL AGENT.